9 Oct 2012

Dr Nchimbi's committee report - a quick first read

Minister Nchimbi receiving the report, via mjengwablog.com
And now the report from Dr Nchimbi's committee is also out (and see also this downloadable version). This is the report commissioned by Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nchimbi, into the killing of journalist Daud Mwangosi in Nyololo, Mufindi, on September 2nd. It follows the publication earlier today of a hard-hitting report into the same event by the Media Council of Tanzania and Tanzania Editors' Forum.

It has been prepared by a team of five: Retired Judge Steven Ihema (chair), Pili Mtambalike of MCT, Colonel Wema Wilson Wekwe (a munitions expert), Theophil Makunga (of Mwananchi Communications) and the Deputy Police Commissioner, Issaya Juma Mngulu.

The story it tells and the conclusions it reaches are very different from the MCT-TEF report. Some excerpts:

"The decision of Chadema to insist on congregating illegitimately in the Nyololo area, taking into account the text message from Dr Slaa, Secretary of Chadema which said "IGP I'm waiting for your call. Inform your police that they should prepare enough bullets, enough bombs. You will have a feast of killings and finally celebrations, prepare yourselves to go to court in the Hague. It's better that we die than these abuses": This message that indicates the spilling of blood is evidence enough of breaking the peace. Chadema is the souce of the unrest and breach of the peace in the village of Nyololo on September 2nd, 2012." *


"The claim that the police used strong force to prevent the Chadema meeting was supported by village government leaders, religious leaders, political leaders at village, district and regional levels and journalists. Nevertheless, the district and regional security and peace committees and the police leaders saw this force as appropriate in the circumstances."**

"Investigations have found that at 4pm on September 2nd, 2012, in the market area of Nyololo village, there was an illegitimate meeting prepared by Chadema leaders. There is truth that police leaders gave a directive that Chadema supporters at the meeting should disperse, otherwise force would be used. They ignored this directive, and when it was instructed that the leaders should be arrested, they started to throw stones at the police. Some of the police were injured .. and three helmets were damaged." ***


"After this exercise was completed, the armed police were directed to board their vehicles ready to leave. While they were boarding their vehicles, a loud explosion was heard at a distance of more than 100m from where the exercise had taken place and it was realised that the explosion had caused the death of journalist Daud Mwangosi." ****



"The questions to ask about the killing are: whether it was proportional to the events, whether it was appropriate to fire a tear gas gun, and whether the use of the tear gas was necessary? 
From the event itself, the answers to these questions are as follows: 
 - The use of the tear gas was not proportionate, the correct use of this weapon is to fire it upwards at an angle of 45 degrees and a distance of 80-100m. 
 - It was not correct to use the tear gas in this way, as its purpose is to make people scared and disperse.  
 - It was not necessary to use the tear gas gun because there were already six police in the area. 
On this basis the committee has seen that the force used from start to finish of this operation was not excessive. On the event of killing Mr Daud Mwangosi and to injure some police officers, it was completely unnecessary."  *****



There are some obvious problems here. Not least, the way the report contradicts itself even in two consecutive sentences. The use of force was both "not excessive" and "completely unnecessary". Surely some mistake.

And even a quick read of the report found several passages to be lacking in clarity or even incomprehensible. The first excerpt above is an example (it has been translated as literally as possible, to show the confusion), but is far from the worst. I defy anyone to understand this next passage: (Sorry, it is untranslatable as it simply makes no sense at all.)

"Tukio hili linaweza kugawanyika katika sehemu mbili: sehemu ya kwanza ni wileamapamebas(mni ya kutawanya watu na ya pili ni ile ya mauaji ya Daud Picha Namba 15: Askari Polisi wakimpiga Marehemu Daud Mwangosi, huku OCS M wenye kifimbo) akijaribu kuwazuia. Mwangosi. Katika tukio la kwanza idadi ya Askari walioshiriki ni Sekisheni Tukio hili linaweza kugawanyika katika sehemu mbili: sehemu ya kwanza ni lile ya Operesheni ya kutawanya watu na ya pili ni ile ya mauaji ya Daud Mwangosi."

These are mostly editing problems. But when they affect the understanding of such a significant event for Tanzania as this one, it is inexcusable. Someone should have gone through this properly before it was released. I thought it might have been an early draft released by mistake, but the report that been quoted here is on Mo Dewji's blog - as the blog of a CCM MP, this should be a reliable source. Alternatively, it is tempting to conclude that the final report has been edited at the last minute.

And of course the differences between what this report says and what the MCT-TEF report says are huge. Two separate teams have looked into the same events and tell very different stories of what happened. As @AnnieTANZANIA said on twitter:
"Tukio moja, ripoti 2 zinazokinzana... unachagua unayotaka kuiamini #mwangosi"
"One event, two contradictory reports... you choose which one you want to believe #mwangosi"



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Original Swahili for the quotations in the post above:

*Uamuzi wa CHADEMA kung’ang’ana kukusanyika isivyo halali eneo la Nyololo ikizingatiwa kuwepo kwa ujumbe wa SMS kutoka kwa Dkt. Slaa, Katibu wa CHADEMA uliosema, “IGP nasubiri simu yako. Wajulishe Polisi wako waandae risasi za kutosha, mabomu ya kutosha. Mtakuwa na karamu ya mauaji na kisha kusherehekea, mjiandae kwa kwenda mahakama ya Den Hague. Ni afadhali tufe kuliko manyanyaso haya”. Dr. Slaa. : ujumbe huu ukiashiria umwagaji wa damu ni ushaidi tosha kuwepo kwa uvunjifu wa amani. CHADEMA ndiyo Chanzo cha vurugu na uvunjifu wa amani Kijijini Nyololo tarehe 02 Septemba 2012.



** Hoja kuwa Polisi walitumia nguvu kubwa katika kudhibiti mkutano wa CHADEMA iliungwa mkono na Viongozi wa Serikali ya Kijiji, Viongozi wa dini na Viongozi wa siasa Kijijini Wilayani na Mkoani pamoja na Waandishi wa Habari. Hata hivyo Kamati za Ulinzi na Usalama Wilaya na Mkoa na Viongozi wa Jeshi la Polisi waliona nguvu hizo ni za mazingira ya hali ilivyokuwa.




*** Uchunguzi wa suala hili umebaini kwamba tarehe 02 Septemba 2012 muda wa saa 10 za jioni huko eneo la Sokoni, Kijiji cha Nyololo kulikuwepo na mkutano usio halali ulioandaliwa na viongozi wa CHADEMA. Upo ukweli kwamba uongozi wa Polisi ulitoa ilani kuamuru wafuasi wa CHADEMA waliokuwepo mkutanoni hapo waondoke la sivyo nguvu itatumika. Walikaidi amri hiyo na ilipoagizwa viongozi wakamatwe ndipo walianza kurusha mawe kwa Askari Polisi. Baadhi ya Askari walijeruhiwa, akiwamo G 9934 PC Mgaka alivunjwa mkono wa kulia. Pia kofia (helmet) tatu ziliharibiwa.


**** Baada ya zoezi hilo kukamilika Askari Polisi walioshiriki kwenye Operesheni waliamriwa kuingia katika magari tayari kwa kuondoka. Wakati Askari wakipanda kwenye magari kishindo kikubwa kilitokea umbali wa zaidi ya mita 100 kutoka sehemu ambayo operesheni ilikuwa inafanyika na iligundulika kwamba kishindo kile kimesababisha kifo cha Mwandishi wa Habari Daud Mwangosi.




***** Maswali ya kujiuliza katika tukio la mauaji ni Je, kulikuwepo na uwiano unaolingana na tukio hili?, Je Palikuwa na uhalali wa kutumia Bomu la kishindo?, na Je, utumiaji wa Bomu hilo ulikuwa na umuhimu?

Kulingana na tukio lenyewe majibu ya maswali hayo ni kama ifuatavyo:
-        Hapakuwa na uwiano wa Bomu na tukio la mauaji, kwa vile utaratibu wa matumizi ya bomu hilo unaelekeza kulenga juu usawa wa nyuzi 45 na umbali mita 80 mpaka mita 100.
-        Hapakuwa na uhalali wa kutumia Bomu la Kishindo kwani lengo la ulipuaji wake ni ili watu waogope na kukimbia.
-        Hapakuwepo umuhimu wa kutumia Bomu la Kishindo kwa sababu hata ingekuwa ukamataji tayari Askari Polisi wapatao sita walikuwepo eneo la tukio.
Kwa misingi hiyo Kamati imeona kwamba nguvu iliyotumika mwanzo hadi kumaliza Operesheni haikuwa kubwa. Kuhusu tukio la kuuawa Bw. Daud Mwangosi na kuumizwa baadhi ya Askari Polisi halikustahili kabisa.