Robbery gone wrong kills Greek tourist in Dar es Salaam

Inspite of regular official denials over the extend of crime in Tanzanias commercial capital of Dar es Salaam, directly aimed at foreign visitors, another tragic case of a purse snatching gone horribly wrong has come to light overnight. A visiting medical doctor from Greece, walking along the Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road in the centre of Dar es Salaam with a number of her colleagues on Sunday, saw a car drive up to her, greedy arms stretched from the window and grabbing hold of her handbag, dragging her to her death when attempting to speed away. Her shocked colleagues rushed her to the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar for medical treatment but she then passed away due to internal bleedings sustained in the robbery. The 48 years old lady tourist visitor was due to fly back home the next day after completing her mission in Tanzania.
Sadly, as reported here before, a number of previous incidents outside or near some of Dar es Salaams major business and tourist hotels, had taken place in the past, prompting the tourism fraternity to demand a better response from the police and from authorities, who for a while took the incidents reportedly as not significant enough to inject more patrols into the respective areas, and only when the headlines started to hit the news overseas, in key tourism producer markets, did the alarm bells go off. A recent double murder of a tourist in a tented camp just outside the Serengeti, where a camp manager was also killed, also rocked the reputation of Tanzania as a previously relatively safe destination, and this latest case will do little to calm the nerves of potential visitors, their travel agents and tour operators, many of whom are watching the growing crime statistics with both alarm and incredulity.
While expressing condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the victim, this is also a reminder for authorities in Tanzania not to underestimate the impact of crime aimed at visitors and to again underscore what an impact on tourism arrivals such incidents can have. And considering the vigour with which the Tanzanian police of late has dealt with political opposition rallies, in particular the one where an innocent journalist, after asking apparently some hard hitting questions in a media briefing before the event, was brutally killed while surrounded by police, here is a certain way to restore the dented reputation of the force in Tanzania but putting numbers in the streets and protecting wananchi and visitors alike, instead of becoming a political tool of repression. Watch this space.