Tanzania: Town director, six others arraigned over church murder charges

Monday February 11 2019

 

By Gasper Andrew @TheCitizenTZ news@tz.nationmedia.com

Singida. The town council director for Itigi in Singida, Mr Pius Luhende (54) and six others appeared before the Singida Resident’s Magistrate Court on Monday, February 11, 2019 to answer charges of killing Isack Petro.

Mr Luhende, some game rangers and some workers at the town council have been under police custody since February 2, 2019 for questioning over their involvement in the church killings Isack Petro, a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church faithful.

Mr Luhende reportedly went to the church on Saturday, February 2, 2019, with the intention of collecting revenue for the council when in the process of asking the faithful to pay the money, a bullet was fired, killing Isack Petrol on the spot.

Since then, opinion has been divided as to who actually fired the bullet.

The deceased’s father Petro Chambalo said the bullet that fell his son was aimed at him by Mr Luhende whom he claimed they have had a running dispute over a farm in the area.

But on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, the Singida Regional Police Commander (RPC) Sweetbert Njewike told reporters that Mr Luhende did not shoot at the victim.

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Others, charged along with Mr Luhende include: Rodney Elias (42), Makoye Stephen, Erick Paul (31), Eliutha Augostino (43) Silivanus Lugwisha (50) and Yusuf John (25).

A senior public prosecutor, Mr Emil Kiria claimed before Magistrate in-charge Consolata Singano that on February 2, 2019, the seven persons killed Isack Petro at Kitaraka area, Itigi.

The accused were not allowed to respond to the charges against them because the court has no jurisdiction over murder cases.

The case was adjourned to February 25. The prosecution side claimed investigations were incomplete.