Guide commits suicide, jumps from Kili peak

18Sep 2019
Marc Nkwame
The Guardian
Guide commits suicide, jumps from Kili peak

A 58-YEAR-OLD mountain guide has died after jumping from the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro—the Uhuru peak—killing himself in a manner which has left many baffled.

Regional Police Commander, Khamis Issah.

The resident of Marangu area in the Moshi Rural District of Kilimanjaro Region, Thomas Meela reportedly took his own life through the dramatic and tragic jump last Sunday.

He reportedly dived from the mountain peak protruding at an elevation of 5,895 above sea level, which is also the highest point on the African continent.

The Kilimanjaro Regional Police Commander, Khamis Issah released a statement to that effect yesterday, saying that there were some speculations that the late Meela was suffering from mountain illness to an extent of developing dementia.

There is also the view that the guide could intentionally have committed suicide. Meela was on a nine-day trekking expedition on Mount Kilimanjaro, a journey which started at Marangu gate on the 12th of September but he met his death four days later.

The guide reportedly left his charge of guests around the Uhuru peak where they summited, took a cigarette and lit it like he was going to have a puff, before bidding fellow guides farewell. At first his mates thought he was joking but when they realized he meant it they summoned help.

However, before he could be contained, Meela took onto his heels, rushing towards the very top of the mountain and jumped over the cliff down into sharp rocks below. He died on the spot.

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