Tabata dampo residents refuse to budge By Pius Rugonzibwa THE CITIZEN About 500 Tabata dampo residents whose houses were demolished recently have maintained that they will not move from the area. Yesterday, Ilala District Commissioner Patrick Tsere met with their representatives to persuade them to move to Kipawa Primary School as a temporarily measure. He requested them to agree to the government plan and move to the primary school buildings but the representatives maintained their stance to stay at their damaged houses in Tabata until they were properly compensated. According to weather forecasts rains may start falling at any time from now. So we urge you to leave the area before it is too late. We understand your case; we know it is difficult for every human being but we beg you to leave the area, said Mr Tsere in a passionate appeal. Responding, the representatives said they were aware of the natural disasters that may affect them as they insist to remain. But they said they were prepared for anything, come rain or sunshine. We organized ourselves because that it is our home. We have drainage systems and other infrastructure in order. Unless it is a tsunami, if it is just normal rains, no way,� said Mr Said Masoud, one of the representatives. He said the government has to embark on how to have them compensated and not think of new strategies to move them. He said they were grateful to the government for the efforts it was making to secure for them an ideal place to live in. But the same government must understand the gross loss they incurred in their houses for their belongings perished in just a day, they said. According to Mr Tsere, the plan to move the residents to Kipawa comes while a commission formed to probe the whole saga is finalizing its work and hopes to submit its report anytime this week. He said the issue of compensation would be in the report as it was one of the items in the terms of reference. The government is not forcing you to move if you don't like; it is only advising you. On the issue of compensation I suggest that we wait for the report and see what it recommends about it, he said. He said the report would cover many areas, not only the issue of demolition. Any concerned party needs to be patient until the report is out, he said. He made a last attempt to convince the representatives to use their wisdom to move for fear of the coming rains and other disasters, but again in vain. Another representative, Ms Maria Rwambano, said it would be unwise for the government to mix them with their children in the class rooms. She said there would not be any privacy. She demanded an explanation from the government on the plans it has for their children because until now they were not attending school. The government's response was that it could not look for schools while the residents were refusing to move to a better place with all the facilities, including schools. Earlier, there were plans to move them to Buyuni area where the Ilala Municipality allocated 96 plots but the residents instantly turned down the offer. The Tanzania Red Cross Society was approached to put up tents and construct other simple infrastructure but the plan also aborted. According to Mr Tsere all other efforts have now to wait for the probe team's report. The meeting was also attended by the Ilala municipality mayor, Mr Abuu Jumaa and other officials.