POLICE are searching for supporters of a pastoralist suspected of being behind the murder of a Kakonko-based journalist of a community radio whose body was found in Kajuluheta forest in Kigoma Region on Tuesday.
Kigoma Regional Police Commander (RPC) Fraser Kashai told the 'Daily News' yesterday that the Radio Kwizera journalist, Mr Issa Ngumba (45), disappeared since Saturday evening.
"The deceased left his home to buy an airtime voucher at the town centre but after buying airtime Mr Ngumba told his friends that he was going to Kajuluheta Forest to fetch herbal medicinal leaves which he said he was using," said the RPC.
He said the police were working on a clue that indicated that the murder was connected to a news story that the deceased had written about a pastoralist in the area. Mr Ngumba wrote a moving story about a Kakonko pastoralist, Mr Imani Paulo, who is said to have eaten parts of his herder's body and that after the news was aired Mr Paulo was arrested and taken to court.
Reports further suggest that the news might have angered Mr Paulo, who is believed to have a sizable following in the area, and prompted his supporters to retaliate by killing the journalist. He said the deceased's body was found three days after his disappearance following intensive search carried out jointly by police and members of the public.
"We have dispatched a team of police officers to the scene of the incident to establish circumstances behind the death," said RPC Kashai. He said that preliminary investigations indicated that Mr Ngumba was hanged by unknown people.
His left hand had a gunshot wound, the RPC said, adding that near the deceased's body was found a pistol, seven rounds of ammunition and a Nokia mobile phone. Meanwhile, Jimmy Lwangili reports that a man died on the spot and two others were injured in a road accident along Bagamoyo Road at Skanska area in Kinondoni Municipality in Dar es Salaam.
Kinondoni Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr Charles Kenyela told reporters that the deceased was driving a lorry of Isuzu make with registration numbers T 194 BWB and could not be immediately identified.
"The truck collided with another lorry with registration number T 993 ALV when coming from Tegeta heading for Mbuyuni," he said. He mentioned the injured as John Joseph (37), a resident of Wazo Hill (the driver of the Scania) and Issah Idd (32). The two were rushed to Mwananyamala Hospital for medical treatment.