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Bishop Bundala takes own life over debts, financial struggles

Bishop Joseph Bundala,55, of the Tanzania Methodist Church, has allegedly committed suicide using a telephone wire allegedly due to being overwhelmed with financial debts.

The bishop was found dead in the church’s office at Meriwa Street in Dodoma city where he hanged himself reportedly on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at around 1pm in the restroom of his office located within the Methodist Church, Meriwa Ward in the Tanzania capital Dodoma.

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Bundala, also erstwhile vice chairman of the African Synod of the Church, left a long statement claiming that he ended up with that decision as he was upset due to difficulty in repaying the debts as well as a stressing dispute on the ownership of private schools were the reason for the suicide”, he said.

The Dodoma Acting Regional Police Commander (RPC), ACP Archelaus Mutalemwa, said on Friday, May 17, 2024, that the police are investigating the incident of the deceased bishop who was resident of Ihumwa suburb in the city. The deceased did not show the amount of debt he faced, the police officer further stated.

The Meriwa Ward Chairman who resides at Sulungai Street, Mr Grevas Lungunyale, said that he received a phone call from a pastor of the church informing him of the incident.

In a message found in the office, the bishop said that there are some monies which he owes and other sums he claims from other people, he said of the scene the police witnessed when taking out the body.

He qualified the matter as a big and painful incident since as a bishop many people trust him and know him “but it seems he had no one to tell on what had happened to him so that he could get advice that could have helped him.”

Mr Kedmondi Ngalya, a neighbour of the late bishop, said the bishop hanged himself in his office leaving behind a document that was taken by the police.

Mr Omar Hussein, also a neighbour, said he met the spiritual leader three days ago and exchanged greetings, asserting that the now deceased bishop did not show any disturbing signs of stress that could conceivably culminate in taking his own life.

“I was very surprised by news that he committed suicide because he used to condemn suicidal acts saying it is a sin. And now, he has hanged himself,” he said in consternation.

Mr Steve Magawa, another neighbour, said the incident has brought sadness because the religious leader was an avid teacher of what is spiritually right to do.

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