Fr Pamphili Nada of Mbulu Diocese, Tanzania, killed by a man suffering from a mental illness. Fr Pamphili Nada of Mbulu Diocese, Tanzania, killed by a man suffering from a mental illness. 

Tanzania: Parish Priest killed by a person suspected of mental illness.

In a tragic event, a Catholic Priest of Mbulu Catholic Diocese in Tanzania, Fr Pamphili Nada, was killed Wednesday by a man believed to have mental health problems. Sadly, the assailant was also killed by an angry instant justice mob.

Sarah Pelaji - Dar es Salaam.

Bishop Anthony Gaspar Lagwen of Mbulu Diocese confirmed the death of Fr Nada, explaining that he was the parish priest of  Karatu Parish in the Arusha region, northern Tanzania. He said Fr Nada was hit with a heavy iron object by a person believed to have mental health challenges who had forced the priest to re-open the parish church at 3 am.

Arusha regional police chief commander Justine Masejo confirmed the killing of Fr Nada and his assailant.

“The priest died while being taken to the hospital, and the suspect was killed by angry citizens after receiving information about the incident,” said the police chief.

A tragic and disturbed night

Residents of Karatu were awoken by church bells that a parish security guard rang when he realised that Fr Nada’s assailant had locked the church from within and started to attack the priest. When residents arrived, they forced their way into the church to rescue the priest, but it was too late. Fr Nada died on his way to the hospital.

This is Tanzania’s third recorded church disturbance by persons with mental illnesses, this year alone. The first was the desecration of the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace in Geita Catholic Diocese, on 26 February  2023. The second happened on 11 May 2023, when an unknown man broke the main door of The Cathedral St. Charles Lwanga of Kahama Diocese. Security guards managed to get hold of him before he could do more harm.

In Tanzania, as in most countries around the world, government spending on mental health is still well below the recommended US$2 per person, with mental health not featured in national health insurance schemes.

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20 July 2023, 12:14