AfricaPress-Tanzania: RESIDENT Magistrate in Charge of Nanyumbu District Court, Mtwara Region, Mr Godfrey Mwambapa, died on Thursday , forcing the trial of 27 supporters and members of Chadema facing charges linked with the saga of inversion of Segerea Remand Prison to be adjourned.
The trial was before Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam, where Mr Mwambapa served before he was transferred to Mtwara Region and promoted as in charge of the district court.
A statement issued the Judiciary’s Information and Communication Department yesterday quoted reports from the District Court showing that Mr Mwambapa was pronounced dead in the morning while being taken to Nanyumbu District Hospital.
“The Judiciary of Tanzania is sorry to announce the death of its former Resident Magistrate in Charge at Nanyumbu District Court, Mtwara Region, Godfrey Mwambapa which happened (on Friday),” reads part of the statement. It is stated that burial arrangements were being made at the deceased’s home at NanyumbuMtwara while preparations to transport the body to Mbeya Region were underway.
“The Judiciary issues condolences to relatives and friends for the loss of their loved one,” the statement states. Business at the Kisutu Court temporarily paralysed after staff members, including magistrates and clerks were informed of the shocking news.
Though court sessions went on usual, some staff members were seen in somber mood for losing the youthful, soft-spoken and very committed magistrate. Prosecuting attorney, Principal State Attorney Revocatus Mkude said that following the bad news, the court session was adjourned to February 15, 2021 when the court is expected to conduct preliminary hearing of the case.
During the session, the prosecution is expected to present more facts of the case, drawing accounts how the accused persons committed offences they are charged with. In the trial, other accused persons are ex- Kawe MP Halima Mdee and Ester Bulaya, the former MP for Bunda Urban.
Others are former Ubungo Municipal Mayor Boniface Jacob, ex-lawmaker Jesca Kishoa, Henry Kilewo, Patrick Assenga, Yohana Kaunya, Kedmony Mhembo, Mshewa Karua, Athuman Hassan,Gervas Yenda, Angela Tryphone and Khadija Mwago.
The rest are Cesilia Michael, Happy Abdallah, Omary Milodo, Emanuel Ignastemu, Stephen Kitomali, Hamis Yusuph, Juma Hussein, Mustafa Lada, Emmanuel Zakaria, Paul Makali, Steven Ezekiel, Edga Adeline, Reginard Masawe and Pendo Raphael, alias Mwasomola.
They are charged with disobedience of lawful order, unlawful assembly, malicious damage to property, abusive language and assault, offences which are alleged to have been committed on March 13, 2020 at Segerea Prison in Ilala District in the City of Dar es Salaam.
The accused persons are suspected to have been involved in the matter when they went to receive the party’s National Chairman Freeman Mbowe, who was freed on that day after managing to pay fine of 70m/- imposed on him by the same court for sedition, incitement and unlawful assembly charges.
It is alleged that on March 13, 2020 at Segerea Prison within Ilala District in the city, all accused persons disobeyed an order issued by Prison Officer Sergeant John, requiring them to disperse peacefully and vacate the prison area. According to the prosecution, such officer was acting in public capacity and duly authorised in that behalf to guard the main gate of Segerea Prison.
The court heard also that on the same date and place, jointly and together and being assembled with intent of carrying a common unlawful purpose, the accused conducted themselves in such a manner as to cause persons in the neighbourhood reasonably to fear that they will cause a breach of the peace.
It is alleged that on March 13, 2020 at Segerea Prison in Ilala District, jointly and together, willfully and unlawfully, all the accused persons damaged the entrance gate of the prison, the property of the government of the United Republic of Tanzania.