7 December 2012

Tanzania: Policeman Detained for Boy's Death

A POLICE officer identified as H522 PC Erasto who is believed to have fired the tear-gas canister that injured and eventually killed a minor, Paul John (16), has been detained by the police for further investigation and possible legal action.

The minor passed away on Wednesday night at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) where he was admitted after sustaining injuries on November 29, this year.

The Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander, Mr Suleiman Kova, told journalists in the city that the law enforcement officer had been detained pending further investigations.

Paul was injured last Thursday at Tegeta during skirmishes involving the police and 'wananchi' during an operation to impound vehicles that were illegally parked on the road reserve. The operation was being conducted by Mwankinga Company.

"The officer is now in custody pending further action. It is the responsibility of the Directorate of Public Prosecution to determine whether they can press charges against him," Mr Kova said. He also hinted on the possibility by the police to take disciplinary action on PC Erasto once it completes its investigation on the incident.

Meanwhile, Commander Kova said that the police had already completed investigations on the theft of copper and oil at the port of Dar es Salaam. He said that 13 suspects have already been taken to court in connection with the theft, noting further that investigations are still in progress.

Mr Kova said a file for the theft of copper numbered KLB/IR/3067/2012 where Gidion Anyona and eight others are the suspects has been presented to the government attorney for Dar es Salaam Zone.

Likewise, a file number KLR/3068/2012 CC 747 for the theft of fuel at the port where Haji Bakari and three others have been accused, has also been presented to the government attorney. Mr Kova reiterated that it is not the role of the police to arraign suspects but rather the government attorney.

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