The death toll from Wednesday’s bloody clashes in Arusha between Chadema supporters and police has now climbed to six, a special committee formed by the opposition party has claimed.
Chadema national chairman Freeman Mbowe told a press conference on Friday evening that there have been reports of bodies being sent to the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) and Mawenzi Hospital, both in Moshi.
According to Mbowe, a 14-year-old child said to have been shot by police at Naura Primary School in Arusha last Wednesday, identified by one name as Samwel, was being treated at KCMC.
“Also the police tried to conceal their brutality by smuggling bodies from the region before dumping them elsewhere,” Mbowe, further claimed, adding that earlier reports that more than 10 people were killed as reported by international media outlets, were likely to be true.
Chadema said they formed a special committee to investigate the actual number of victims of the bloody clash. However, according to police so far only three persons have been killed in the January 5 fracas.
“At the Mount Meru Hospital the committee discovered a Kenyan identity card belonging to one Paul Njuguna Kaiyehe aged 26 but his body could not be accounted for,” said Mbowe pointing out that a committee formed by his party can confidently testify of six deaths so far.
“At the KCMC there is an unidentified body bearing bullet wounds and the attendant said it was taken to the morgue by the police and dumped there without explanation while at Mawenzi a body was dropped there,” Mbowe stated.
Arusha Regional Chief Physician, Salash Toure, named the dead as Ismail Omar, Dennis Michael, George Waitara and an unknown person who was brought to the hospital gasping for breath but died before he could utter a word. He lacked any form of identification.
As we went to press an injured person who was being admitted to Mount Meru Hospital reportedly passed away. While Chadema blamed the police for excessive use of force, President Jakaya Kikwete on Friday described the deadly clashes as unfortunate.