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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Appeals Court: Mariam`s killer must hang to death

3rd March 2012

The Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed an appeal by Kazimili Mashauri, against a High Court ruling in which he was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging for killing Mariam Emmanuel, a girl with albinism in 2008.

The verdict was delivered by a panel of Judges comprising January Msoffe, Steven Bwana and Sauda Mjasiri here yesterday.

In their ruling, the judges upheld High Court Justice Protas Rugazia’s ruling that Kazimili Mashauri should be hanged to death for killing the albino girl on January 21, 2008 at Nyangh’olo village in Misungwi District, Mwanza Region.

The appellant in the case was represented by Silvery Byabusha, while the respondent, the Republic was represented by principal state attorney Ayoub Mwenda, assisted by state attorney Judith Nyaki.

Earlier, it was claimed before the panel by Appeals Court Deputy Registrar John Mgetta, that on January 21, 2008, at Nyang’holo village in Misungwi District, the accused Kazimili and Mathias Italange, who was latter acquitted by the High Court, brutally murdered Mariam.

Mgetta further claimed that on the day of the event Kazimili had gone to the place where Mariam’s mother, Flora Emmanuel was conducting her business where he delivered tobacco to one Kundi Rozalia, a ginger tea seller.

At Flora’s business place were also her two other children, Mhindi Emmanuel and Jessica Emmanuel.

After delivering the tobacco, Kazimili called the two aside and asked them about their home sleeping arrangements.

The children, who took the gesture to be an innocent one, told him that they slept in their grandfather’s house, he said.

He added that the children did not hesitate to tell him the truth because it didn’t strike them or their mother there was a hidden motive behind the inquiry, him being a distant relative and a person they knew and lived with in the same village.

In their Judgments, the three panelists lead by Judge Msoffe said that it is evident that Mhindi Emmanuel, who was Mariam’s younger sister, knew the accused person for sometime before the incident.

There was also evidence that appellant Kazimili was a distant relative of the deceased’s family and they lived in the same village, he said, adding that that was against the background that the children may have spoken to him freely and without suspicion and disclosed their sleeping arrangements.

In his judgment, Msoffe said that it was also on record that Mariam’s brutal murder took a considerable time, adding that it was supported by the evidence that she was slaughtered.

He further said her blood was allowed to seep out into a cooking pot before the killers subsequently chopped off her legs, adding that during all this time, Mhindi was observing as she described him in her testimony as the one who slaughtered Mariam and eventually chopped off her legs.

The atrocious murder took place in a room where the children slept, and “going by the standards of houses in the village, it was a small room where all people in it were close to one another,” he said.

“It is in the evidence that one of the bandits was holding an illuminated torch, thus allowing the appellant to slaughter Mariam. That holding of the torch enabled Mhindi to clearly witness that horrible, brutal murder of her younger sister,” the judge said.

“Given the size of the room as it has been observed, we are of the considered view that the intensity of light was adequate in the circumstances of this case. We are satisfied that the appellant was sufficiently identified by Mhindi to the exclusion of any mistaken identity,” he argued.

Justice Msoffe added that Mhindi Emmanuel’s evidence as to the positive identification of the appellant was absolutely sound.

He therefore concluded that Kazimili was one of the three people who entered the children’s bedroom and brutally slaughtered Mariam, the albino girl child, who was five years old.

He said given the above scenario and circumstances, the judges saw no merit in the appellant’s grounds of appeal, thus they dismissed his case.

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