Court in Tanzania sentences teacher to death for killing pupil

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DODOMA, Tanzania

A court in Tanzania has sentenced to death by hanging a teacher accused of beating to death a pupil making it the first harsh penalty since 1994.

According to testimonies, Respicius Mtazangira 51, caned and hit a pupil Sperius Eradius 14, with a blunt object at their school in Bukoba town in north-western Tanzania last August. He had accused the pupil of stealing a handbag that had gone missing.

Further witness accounts stated that the boy denied any involvement in the theft, but Mtazangira still proceeded with the punishment.

During the trial, pupils and medical personal gave testimonies with a full medical report that proved that the pupil succumbed to beatings that led to his death.

In a land mark ruling on Wednesday High Court Judge Lameck Mlacha convicted Mtazangira of murder, but acquitted fellow teacher Heriet Gerald.

In 2017, the President of the Republic of Tanzania John Pombe Maguguli said that he opposed executions.

He was quoted by local media as saying “I know there are people who convicted of murder and waiting for death penalty, but please don’t bring the list to me for decision because I know how difficult it is to execute,”