Dar es Salaam. The government will only cover costs directly linked to the funeral of Akwilina Akwiline, the family has revealed.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Moi Kiyeyeu, a family member, said the government will foot the cost of hiring three vehicles of which one will be carrying the coffin bearing the remains of Akwilina.
Two of the three vehicles to be hired will have the capacity to carry 30 mourners each to and from Rombo District in Kilimanjaro Region, where Akwilina is expected to be buried.
The 60-plus people will be completely catered for by the government which will also pay for their food while on safari.
This will mean that the family will also have to foot the bill for transporting extra people to Rombo.
According to Mr Kiyeyeu, over 200 family members have shown interest to travel to Rombo, whose costs, including food on the way to the deceased’s village, will have to be shouldered by the family.
The 22-year-old student was killed after she was hit by a stray bullet fired by police as the latter sought to break up a march by opposition Chadema.
“The government will provide a coffin and all the other burial accessories. It will pay for the tents, chairs and all the activities associated with the digging of the grave,” he said.
Mr Kiyeyeu who is the deceased’s brother and secretary of the funeral committee said the government has also been supporting the family service at Akwilina’s family home in Rombo.
On Wednesday, the government, through the Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Vocational Training, said in a statement that it will directly finance Akwilina’s funeral costs without issuing cash payments to the family.
“Some of the items were overestimated. There are some that are not normally covered by the government,” the statement read in part.
Mr Kiyeyeu confirmed the government commitment saying they have been instructed to provide receipts of any transactions they make regarding the funeral, so that it can be covered.
Furthermore, the minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, arrived the city home were relatives are meeting for funeral organisation.
“I’ve come to pay my condolences to the family,” Dr Mwakyembe said, noting that “this is very sad thing to happen to a young girl. And I am not saying this only because I am a leader, but also as a parent. It is, indeed, very painful.”