Africa

Tanzania teacher to hang for killing pupil

A teacher in Tanzania has been sentenced to death for beating a pupil so badly that he died of his injuries.

Judge Lameck Mlacha said Respicius Mtazangira, 51, had acted maliciously when he repeatedly hit the child with a blunt object last August.

The teacher had accused 14-year-old Sperius Eradius of stealing a female teacher’s handbag.

Corporal punishment can only be carried out in Tanzanian schools within certain guidelines.

A maximum of four strokes can be given and the head teacher must be present. The punishment can only be administered by the head teacher or somebody they have authorised.

The BBC’s Aboubakar Famau in Dar es Salaam says this is a rare, high-profile judgment aimed at protecting schoolchildren in the country.

News of the boy’s death last year at Kibeta Primary school in Bukoba town sparked national outrage and demands for justice. The family of Eradius refused to bury his body until the culprit was arrested.

Although death sentences can be handed down by law, Tanzania has not carried out an execution since 1994.

Mtazangira has the right to appeal.

His co-accused Heriet Gerald – the female teacher whose handbag the child was accused of stealing – was not found guilty of committing an offence. –BBC

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