A 55 year old primary school head teacher in Mzimba District opted to kill himself by hanging than face a local tribunal to answer allegations that he sexually assaulted a Standard five female pupil (name withheld), Police have confirmed.
Mzimba Police Spokesperson Gift Nyirongo identified the deceased as Austin Nkunika from Lufu Nkunika village in the district.
Nyirongo said Nkunika, who was Head Teacher at Chagodi Full Primary School, hanged himself in a nearby bush at the School on Sunday after villagers had reported him to the Primary Education Advisor (PEA).
“The PEA had called for a meeting on Saturday where Nkunika and the girl’s parents were invited to discuss the issue. But Nkunika did not turn up. He was later discovered hanging in the nearby bush on Sunday,” said Nyirongo.
He said a postmortem conducted at Mzimba District Hospital revealed that the deceased died due to strangulation but said Police were not suspecting any foul play.
Meanwhile, Police have advised the public not to handle suspected criminal cases to avoid such fatalities.
“We believe he committed suicide because he felt embarrassed to testify before members of the community, the PEA and other pupils. Such cases could also be reported to community victim support units which have been established in all Traditional Authorities in order to enable people at grassroots levels access to justice,” he said.
He said the police are working hard to crackdown cases of rape and sexual harassment by bringing to book the culprits.
The polices spokesman said there is a need for the vigorous campaigns to be carried out by human rights bodies, law enforcers and other stakeholders in a bid to curb the increase of sexual assualt cases.