Nairobi, Kenya | AFP | Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Sunday ordered an inquiry after police admitted responsibility for the death of a 22-year-old student who was hit by a stray bullet as they sought to break up an opposition rally.
The young woman’s death on Friday night triggered an outpouring of national anger and demands for justice.
“I am profoundly shocked by the death of 22-year-old student Akwilina Maftah,” Magufuli said in a posting in Swahili on Twitter.
— The Independent (@UGIndependent) February 17, 2018
“I have ordered the security forces to carry out an inquiry and to take legal measures against those responsible.”
Another four people were seriously injured in the incident as police sought to disperse a peaceful demonstration in Dar es Salaam, the country’s commercial capital.
Regional police commander Lazaro Mambosasa said six officers had been arrested for using their weapons during Friday’s march as they sought to clear the road of demonstrators from Chadema, the main opposition party.
Police had earlier said the bullet which killed the young woman was one of the warning shots fired by officers during the operation.
Witnesses said police used tear gas and fired live ammunition, while the police accused some of the demonstrators of throwing stones.
#Update Allegedly shot yesterday when Police were dispersing opposition party peaceful march to DED to get letters for their poll agents for today’s election.She wasn’t in the march, she was on a bus.A university students full of hopes & dreams, now deceased. #Tanzania HOW? WHY? pic.twitter.com/79QEwerkIG
— Carol Ndosi (@CarolNdosi) February 17, 2018
– Interior minister under fire –
The shooting triggered a flood of public outrage, with the TNSP, an umbrella group of Tanzanian students, demanding “the immediate resignation” of Interior Minister Mwigulu Nchemba, urging Magufuli to sack him if he refused to go.
The group also said it would help the victim’s family to file suit against the police.