AfricaPress-Tanzania: THE trial of 27 members and supporters of Chadema facing criminal charges linked to invasion of Segerea Remand Prison will start on April 5, 2021, with the prosecution indicating to call 22 witnesses.
This latest development was announced at the Kisutu Resident Magistrates’ Court in Dar es Salaam on Monday, when the case came up for preliminary hearing before Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi.
During the session, the prosecution led by Principal State Attorney Revocatus presented more facts of the case, drawing accounts how the accused persons committed offences they were charged with.
In the trial, other accused persons are ex-Kawe MP Halima Mdee and Ester Bulaya, former MP for Bunda Urban.
Others are former Ubungo Municipal Mayor Boniface Jacob, Jesca Kishoa, Henry Kilewo, Patrick Assenga, Yohana Kaunya, Kedmony Mhembo and Mshewa Karua.
The rest are Athuman Hassan, Gervas Yenda, Angela Tryphone, Khadija Mwago, Cesilia Michael, Happy Abdallah, Omary Milodo, Emanuel Ignastemu, Stephen Kitomari, 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 a 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 Dar es Salaam.
The accused persons are alleged 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 paying a 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 an 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 to 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 would cause the 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.
It is alleged further that on the same date and place in the city, Mdee and Bulaya uttered separate abusive words to the prison officer in such a manner as is likely to cause the breach of peace. Such words suggested to Sergeant John that he is a “puppet of CCM, lives in a tin house and is paid 70,000/-.”
Jacob was also charged with a similar offence of abusing the prison officer on the same day at Segerea Prison. He is alleged to have uttered unprinted words against Sergeant John in such a manner as is likely to cause the breach of the peace.
The prosecution alleged also that on the same day at Segerea Prison within Ilala District in Dar es Salaam, Jacob assaulted the prison officer by strangling him and grabbing his shirt and tearing it, while such officer was guarding Segerea Prison in execution of the duties imposed on him by the law.