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Judicial CP - June 2007

Corpun file 19326

Daily News, Dar es Salaam, 29 June 2007

Appeal court upholds 30-year jail term

By Sosthenes Mwita
in Dodoma

THE Resident Magistrate's Court in Dodoma has upheld a mandatory sentence of 30 years imprisonment imposed on four appellants - Amosi Mwarabu, Jackson Mlemeta, Sotokine Mangwa and Sabahula Mangwa - for armed robbery with violence.

Acting on extended jurisdiction, Principal Resident Magistrate Moses Mzuna said the Kongwa District Court was right in convicting the four persons for robbery with violence.

He also ruled that the convicts should receive 12 strokes of the cane each.

The facts of the case were that shortly after midnight on July 11, 2005 while Ms Amina Issa (PW3) was sleeping in her rented room, a gang of bandits smashed her door and stormed into her room. They demanded money from her.

Ms Amina was a tenant in a house jointly owned and occupied by two brothers - Mazizo and Mussa Mkombola. The two owners lived in different rooms in the same house. Mussa was asleep in his room with his wife Phoibe when the gang struck.

Principal Resident Magistrate Mzuna said according to trial court records, the gang hit Ms Amina with the blunt edge of a machete, forcing her to surrender 60,000/-, which she kept in a tin. The gang continued to assault her demanding more money.

The thieves, eventually, left with her mobile phone, a bag of clothes and a radio set but not before a fight. Upon hearing the loud bang (door smash) Mazizo woke up and went to Mussa's room. He heard Amina crying for help. He also heard other people's voices.

Mazizo peered through a slit in a curtain and saw one Hamis Mgosi standing in the corridor armed with a gun. However, Mgosi was not jointly charged with the appellants (Amosi Mwarabu, Jackson Mlemeta, Sotokine Mangwa and Sabahula Mangwa).

Mazizo got out, stalked the gun holder. He pounced on him, seizing the gun. As the two struggled for possession of the weapon, two bandits came around and cut him (Mazizo) twice on the head. (He identified his attackers later as Sotokine and Sabahula.)

Mazizo fell unconscious. Sotokine pulled Phoibe who was hiding under a coach in the sitting room. She (Phoibe) was forced by Sotokine to surrender 95,000/- to the gang. Trial court records show that the incident took about 30 minutes, Mr Mzuna said.

When Mazizo failed to capture the gun he rushed to a children's room to hide. Sabahula pursued him with a lighted torch and a machete. However, Mussa cut Sabahula on the hand that held the torch with a machete. The torch dropped to the floor.

Then, Mussa saw his wife Phoebe being pushed through the bedroom door by Sotokine. When he (Mussa) tried to defend his wife he was seized by the neck by Amosi Mwarabu.
But he managed to struggle out of Amosi's grip. At this juncture the thugs fled house.

A search party followed bloodstains to Ngh'mbi Village (Kongwa District). Here they found Jackson and Sabahula and nabbed them. The two told the search party that some of the stolen clothes were hidden in a hill.

Amina identified the clothes as hers. The other culprits were captured later. They all confessed to have committed the offence but made cautioned statements. Later on, they denied involvement. After analysing the evidence, the trial court convicted them.  

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