14 November 2018

Tanzania Family Boycott Relative's Body At Morgue for 163 Days, Claim Police Killed Him

Mbeya — The body of Frank Kapange (21) has been at the Mbeya Referral Hospital mortuary for 163 days now as the legal battle pitying the deceased's relatives and the police force refuse to die.

Mr Kapange died on June 4, but his body has since been kept at the Mbeya Referral Hospital mortuary because relatives and the police force are engaged in legal battles as the former claim that the deceased died after being assaulted by police.

In August, the Mbeya Resident Magistrate's court ruled in favour of the police force when it threw out the relatives' plea for a post-mortem into the cause of the death.

The Resident Magistrate, Micheal Mteite, also ordered the family on August 24 to go and collect their relative's body for burial.

However, the relatives rushed to the High Court, asking it to reverse the ruling.

On Monday, November 12, 2018, the High Court in Mbeya yesterday dismissed an appeal lodged by relatives of the late Frank Kapange, 21, against the police force.

The High Court dismissed the appeal after it got satisfied beyond doubt that the complainant did not follow proper procedures when filing the case.

Reading the ruling, Judge Paul Ngwembe said the High Court heard and went through all arguments of both parties and was satisfied that the arguments presented in court by the defence's lawyer did not hold water and that the whole procedure used to open the case was not right.

He said the family was required to go and collect the body for burial and that if they do not do so, then city authorities will have the last say.

Judge Ngwembe told the court that before opening the case in court, the defence was supposed to have a forensic report on the body of the dead, adding that report could have determined the cause of his death, which could have made it easy for the court to make a ruling.

The Judge said the family was free to appeal the ruling to a higher court.

But speaking to The Citizen on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, the Mbeya Referral Hospital public relations officer, Mr Arcad Mosha said so far, the medical facility has not received any new different directive on the matter and that nobody had requested to take the body from the mortuary

"The body is still in the mortuary," he said.

Information has it that the deceased's relatives are now planning to take the matter to the Court of Appeal before Kapange can be buried.

Their lawyer, Advocate Moris Mwamwenda, said here on Monday that the relatives of the deceased will now seek their right at the Court of Appeal after getting dissatisfied by the High Court ruling.


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