Arusha — A blanket of sadness has covered Arusha City as police here confirmed that the two bodies of children that were recovered from a pit toilet at Mji Mpya Street in Olasiti Ward, are those of the children who had been reported kidnapped end of last month.
Briefing reporters in his office, Arusha Regional Police Commander Charles Mkumbo said the bodies were of Moureen Daudi, 6, and Ikram Salim, 3.
Moureen was kidnaped on August 21 while Ikram was kidnaped on August 25. The kidnappers demanded a Sh4.5 million ransom from the children's parents. However, the parents were only able to pay Sh300,000.
Mr Mkumbo said one of the suspects (name withheld), who was arrested in Geita at the end of last week and then transferred to Arusha, led the police to where the children's remains were.
"I dispatched a team of police together with the suspect and when they arrived they found the children's bodies floating in the pit latrine," said Mr Mkumbo.
He added that the bodies, which are preserved at Mount Meru Hospital morgue, had already started decomposing, at the time they were recovered by the police.
Apart from the two children, the suspect is accused of kidnapping two other children, according to Mr Mkumbo the suspect kidnapped Ayubu Fred, 3, and Bakari Selemani, 3, on August 28. However, the suspect later released the two children.
Mr Mkumbo also revealed that police are holding a mobile money agent in Arusha because the suspect withdrew Sh300,000 from his shop. The money was part of the ransom one of the parents of the kinapped children had sent.
The RPC further said data obtained from telecommunications companies showed that the kidnapers were holding the children at Kwamromboo Suburb.
Speaking to The Citizen, Ikram's father Kassim Salum said the kidnapers called him at night and told him that they were holding his daughter. According to him they demanded money from him so as to set his daughter free.
"They asked me to meet them at Olasiti Primary School grounds and pay them Sh4.5 million so they could set free my daughter. I called the police before I went there but they didn't respond," said Mr Kassim.
For his part, Maureen's father Daud Njau said his daughter was abducted at around 5pm on August 21, when she was playing outside their house. "Later in the night I received a text message demanding me to send Sh4.5 million if I wanted to see my daughter and I told them that I didn't have the amount. They then ordered me to give them Sh2 million and I told them that I didn't have the money," said Mr Njau.
He added that he reported the matter to the police but nothing was done until 15 days later, when the suspect was arrested in Geita.
The deceased families were not allowed to take the bodies for burial because police are still investigating the matter.