The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday delivered the second judgment on one of the high profile External Payment Arrears (EPA) cases, sentencing Rajabu Maranda and Farijala Hussein to jail terms totalling 18 years respectively.
However, each will serve only three years in jail because the sentences run concurrently. The sentence comes less than a year after the two were each jailed for five years for conspiracy to defraud, forgery, uttering false document and submit forged documents and obtaining 2,266,049,041.25.
The Panel of judges Fatuma Masengi, Projestus Kahyoza and Katalina Revocat hearing the case applied the judgment prepared by magistrates Kahyoza and Revocat which found the accused guilty on six of the seven counts they were charged with.
Reading the judgment on behalf of his colleagues, Magistrate Kahyoza said that evidence and testimony presented in court proved six counts against the accused without any reasonable doubt, except one count of stealing, which was dismissed.
Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) treasurer in Kigoma Region, Maranda and his cousin, Hussein, were charged with seven counts relating to stealing over 2,266,049,041/65 from the EPA account.
He said the accused were found guilty in six counts including the offence of obtaining credit by false pretences from the EPA account of the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) by using a fake company registered as Money Planners & Consultants Company.
According to the charge sheet, Maranda and Hussein are charged with forging a deed of assignment showing that Graciel Company had assigned a debt of 2,266,049,041/65 to Money Planners Consultancy Company while knowing the said to be false
It was alleged that the accused opened an account at Commercial Bank of Africa no. 0101379004 and on November 27 2005 the money was cashed into the account by BoT.
After the two were declared guilty, the prosecution, led by state attorney Arafa Msafiri, asked the court to give the two severe punishments, taking into consideration the huge loss that the government has suffered from their crime.
She also asked the court to use its authority under Section 348 and 358 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) to order the accused to pay a compensation or to return the obtained money which they are found guilty to have obtained.
In their mitigation, the accused, through their counsel Majura Magafu, asked the court to be considerate to his clients, considering that Section 38(1) of the penal code gives authority to the court either to give absolute discharge or conditional discharge.