Tanzanian journalist found dead in forest

Tanzanian journalist found dead in forest

A journalist was found murdered in northwestern Tanzania on Tuesday, three days after he went missing from his home, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said, citing local journalists and local reports.

The body of Issa Ngumba (45), a reporter for Radio Kwizera, was found in Kajuhuleta Forest with a gunshot wound in his left arm, with clear evidence that he had been strangled or hanged, according to local journalists who interviewed coroner Primus Ijumaa. A handgun was found next to his body along with two mobile phones and 10 000 Tanzanian shillings (US$6.25) in his pocket.

According to local reports, residents of the rural Tanzanian region of Kigoma where Ngumba was killed suspect that the reporter may have been targeted for a November story concerning a gruesome attack by a local cattle owner against one of his staff. The story, aired on 24 November 2012, claimed that a local cattle owner had brutally wounded a shepherd under his service.

Ngumba’s wife, Rukia Yunus, was quoted as saying that her husband left their home in the evening on 5 January 2013 to go to the city centre and never returned. A police investigation was under way, and the Tanzanian Editor’s Forum is said to be planning to carry out an independent investigation, chairperson Absalom Kibanda told CPJ.

“We send our condolences to the friends and family of Issa Ngumba,” CPJ East Africa consultant Tom Rhodes said, calling on Tanzanian authorities to do their utmost best to solve the case.

In September, CPJ documented its first work-related journalist fatality in Tanzania since the organisation began keeping detailed records in 1992.

Channel Ten reporter Daudi Mwangosi, who was also chairman of the press club in the southern city of Iringa, was killed on 2 September 2012 while covering clashes between police and members of Tanzania’s largest opposition political party, Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema). Authorities arrested and charged one police constable, 23 year-old Cleophase Pasifious for the murder, CPJ said.

*Map source: www.maps.com, Magellan Geographix

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