Shock gripped Arusha on Wednesday following the killing of a Burundi member of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) early in the day in Bujumbura.
News of the grisly murder of Ms Hafsa Mossi was received with utter disbelief and grief among staff of the regional Assembly and the East African Community (EAC).
The new development came as the Burundi crisis talks chaired by retired President Benjamin Mkapa appeared to stall with pro-government groups disagreeing on the format of the negotiations.
There was a sombre mood at the EAC headquarters from mid-day with workers discussing the tragedy in groups in low tones.
Senior officials at the secretariat and Eala were, however, not available and were said to be attending a crisis meeting over the issue.
The first information about the killing was circulated to all the 50-plus MPs at 3:33pm by the Eala Deputy Clerk Charles Kadonya.
This was followed by a statement by Eala spokesperson Bobi Odiko at 3:46pm and thereafter an official press release by EAC spokesperson Owora Richard-Othieno at 4:33pm. Eala said the late Mossi was killed at around 10:30am Burundi time (11:30am East African Standard time) and that more details would be communicated later.
The secretariat said the former broadcaster turned MP was shot by unknown assailants at eastern Mutanga in Bujumbura City near her home. The news was confirmed by Mr Emerence Bucumi, another Eala member from Burundi who was in the capital city during the killing.
Source: The Citizen