8 November 2012

Tanzania: Two Held Over Fatal Abortion

POLICE are holding two people over the death of a student of the College of Business Education (CBE) Dodoma campus who died while attempting to carry out abortion in Tabora last month.

Tabora Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr Anthon Ruta, named the suspects as the student's boyfriend, Martine John (24) and a Kigoma-based traditional healer, Mahadhi Lazaro (40). He said John, also a CBE student and Tabora resident, was arrested in the municipality on Friday and the traditional healer, on the following day.

"We are still investigating the matter to establish the cause of the death of the student, Ms Jessica Raphael (21)," said the RPC. He said the deceased's body was buried by the Tabora municipal authorities at Ruwanzari Cemetery on October 22, after it was abandoned at Kitete Tabora Regional Hospital on October 6.

"The hospital handed over the body to the Tabora municipal authorities after failure to receive response from Jessica's relatives," said Mr Ruta.

He said Ms Jessica was brought to Tabora by her boyfriend for the abortion, saying Martine took her to the traditional healer who was in Tabora by then for the mission which turned out to be fatal. "The suspects disappeared immediately after handing over the deceased's body to Kitete Hospital," he said.

Mr Ruta further said the Police Force exhumed the deceased's body for the reburial at her home in Mbeya following the request by her parents who discovered their daughter's death after reporting to police after she disappeared. "It should be noted that abortion is a criminal offence thus the suspects face two charges including murder and abortion," said Mr Ruta.

Meanwhile, Police in Njombe Region are investigating an incident where an Ihanga villager allegedly committed suicide yesterday morning. Njombe Regional Police Commander (RPC), Fulgence Ngonyani, said the villager, Godfrey Kigae (62), used poison to take his own life.

He said the deceased's body was taken to Kibena Hospital mortuary for preservation pending burial arrangements. He said police are investigating the matter.

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