Dar es Salaam. Controversy surrounds the death of a third-year student at the University of Dodoma, putting the public university in a tight spot as the public demands answers as to what exactly led to the student’s death.
Unconfirmed reports of the death of Nusura Hassan Abdallah started to circulate as early as late last month, with some associating it with the road accident that involved Mr Festo Dugange, who is a Deputy Minister of State in the President’s Office, Regional Administration, and Local Government (PO-RALG).
Rumours had it that Mr Dugange was driving with a passenger before he was involved in the road accident on April 26, 2023, at St Peter’s area of Dodoma, with some suspecting the woman to be Nusura.
But police refuted these rumours on April 29, 2023, when Dodoma regional police commander Martin Otieno said that Mr Dugange was driving alone in the vehicle before it was involved in the accident that led to his hospitalisation.
“There have been rumours circulating on social media that a woman was driving with Mr Dugange, who ended up dead,” Mr Otieno told journalists. “These reports are false, and they should be ignored.”
On May 4, 2023, as the pressure kept mounting on the University of Dodoma, a statement resurfaced on social media purported to come from the university that announced the death of Nusura.
The death announcement claimed that Nusura died while she was at her lover’s place in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, associating the death with beatings.
But a day later, the university denied issuing the announcement, releasing an alternative clarification regarding the death of its student.
In the statement released on Friday, UDOM said the student, who was doing a Bachelor’s of Education at the university, died on May 3, 2023, while receiving treatment at the Faraja Hospital in Himo, Kilimanjaro.
It said until April 27, 2023, Nusura could be seen at the university compound continuing her studies. Then, on May 3, 2023, the university management was informed by Nusura’s fellow student that Nusura was no more.
The informant cited information from someone who introduced himself as Nusura’s uncle and explained that Nusura died while receiving treatment at the Faraja Hospital in Himo, Kilimanjaro.
“Considering that studies were progressing at the university, the management tried to get additional information regarding the matter and managed to get hold of Nusura’s sister, who confirmed the death of her young sister,” the university said in a statement.
It said Nusura’s body was transported to her hometown of Iramba, Singida, on May 3, 2023, where a burial ceremony occurred.
“She was buried on May 4, 2023, at her hometown of Iramba, Singida,” the university’s information and marketing department said in a statement. “The passing on of the student saddens us, and we extend our condolences to her family.”