22 February 2019

Tanzania: Student's Suicide Stuns Residents

Morogoro — "It is a child who does not know her biological parents; a child who does not know where she was born; a child who wants to die sooner than later. Anyone who reads this message from this diary will know the exact date when this child died".

This is the translated version of a message that an 18-year-old Form Four student at Lupanga Secondary School, Jasmin Ngole, left behind before she decided to shoot herself dead using a pistol that is owned by her guardian, Prof Hamis Maige.

The message was written in a diary that she gave to her classmate, Imelda Milanzi, one day before she took her own life.

Jasmin's remains were found at dawn along a narrow path on February 19 at Kola B' area in Morogoro close to which was a pistol and a cartridge that took her life.

After medical experts conducted an autopsy on the body, they released it for burial which took place at the Kola cemetery.

Ms Christina Makinda who is a separated wife of Prof Hamis Maige, said Jasmin's biological mother was a housemaid at her (Ms Christina Makinda's) parents.

Ms Makinda, who now resides in Ruangwa, Lindi, said Jasmin's biological mother died as soon as she had given birth to her (Jasmin). With no one to take care of the child (Jasmin) at her (Ms Makinda's) parents' home, she (Ms Makinda) decided to go and take her.

"I took care of her just like my own daughter. When I separated with Prof Maige, I left the child there when I left for Ruangwa," she explained.

She said throughout the period, Jasmin was well-mannered girl but she abruptly changed just days before she decided to take her life.

"She developed a new habit of leaving home and returning late without informing anyone. The Prof phoned me about Jasmin's new behavior... I spoke to her by phone but she refuted all the claims. At one point, I threatened her that I would report her new behavior to her teachers but she responded nothing," she said.

She said the Prof called her the second day and informed that Jasmin had gone missing. The following day, Christina said he received a call from Prof Maige to inform her that Jasmin's body found.

Lupanga secondary school deputy headmaster Mr Daud Masunga said Jasmin performance was average and she was well liked at the school because she was charming and cooperated with her fellow students.

Mr Masunga added that he had never received any complaints for Jasmin's parents about her behavior.

"I was really shocked, when I heard that Jamin decided to take his own life... I never so it coming because she was leading a very happy life," said Mr Masunga, when speaking to The Citizen.

One of the students, Dafrosa Wilfred said that Jasmin never confessed to anyone about, what she was going through.

"She never complained about anything because her father provided for her all the school requirements," added Dafrosa.

Jasmin sibling Zakia said they lived very happily with the deceased before she decided to take her own life.

"I don't know how did she know where the gun was because father never show us where he put the weapon.

Prof Maige is currently out on bail after he was briefly held by the police before being released on bail. Police are continuing with their investigation.

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