MUHIMBILI DOCTORS TIGHT SECURITY TO PROTECT DR ULIMBOKA

Dr Stephen Ulimboka in intensive care at Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute yesterday after he was kidnapped, tortured and dumped on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam on Wednesday PHOTO FIDELIS FELIX

DAR ES SALAAM, Muhimbili doctors mounted tight security to protect Dr Stephen Ulimboka from unwanted guests. The hospital’s public relations officer, Mr Almas Jumaa, said the doctors had arranged a schedule that would allow only important relatives and friends to visit Dr Ulimboka.

In another development, civil society organisations called yesterday for international investigations into the kidnapping and torture.  

They raised questions over the quality of investigations into the case that could be expected from local police.

Local investigators could be intimidated and only international and independent would resolve “this puzzle” without fear or favour, said Ms Ananilea Nkya, executive director of the Tanzania Media Women’s Association (Tamwa).

Over at the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Executive Director Hellen Kijo-Bisimba echoed these sentiments, and added:  “For the time being, we are speculating that the government machinery has a hand in the matter.” 

But the Police Force Commissioner for Operations, Mr Paul Chagonja, said the police were ready to engage private investigators if need be. The public should remain calm, he told The Citizen, and allow police to establish the truth.

Mr Chagonja denied reports that police were involved in the kidnapping. “The mistrust of the police that the public could have could be cleared by engaging private investigators,” said the commissioner.

“It’s unfair to come to the conclusion that the state machinery has been directly involved…. Dr Ulimboka has his personal life like other civilians, but we should not target anybody for the time being until it has been proven by the investigation.” 

Meanwhile, medical services continued to deteriorate yesterday at Muhimbili, the country’s leading referral facility, as doctors downed their tools and waited for news of Dr Ulimboka’s progress. Only emergency patients were attended while the operating theatre and the private clinics were closed.

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