The fate of businessman Rajabu Maranda, who is charged with the theft of 2.26bn/- from the Bank of Tanzania’s External Payment Arrears (EPA) account, will be known today in when the judgment in a second similar case will be delivered.
Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court, which hears the case, is set to give a ruling of a parallel case facing CCM cadre and Maranda’s co-accused, Farijali Hussein, in the theft case they are jointly charged with.
The judgment was scheduled to be delivery by a panel of three magistrates on May 18 this year, but one of the judges, Katherine Rovocat, told the court that the other two magistrates, Projestus Kahyoza and Fatuma Masengi, were sick.
The accused allegedly stole the money after presenting forged documents indicating that Money Planners Consultancy Company was credited with a debt of the said amount by Graciel Company of Germany.
Maranda and Farijali are represented by counsel Majura Magafu, who has been facing off with state attorney Vitalis Timon, assisted by Arafa Msafiri in the long-drawn case.
In the case, which started in November 2008, only seven prosecution witnesses had testified before the court. Earlier, the prosecution had claimed to have 22 witnesses.
In his testimony, the first witness Rajabu Maranda, who is the first accused, requested the court to disregard all the evidence presented in court by the prosecution witnesses because he did not steal nor forge and he had never sent any request to the BoT.
He added that all the payments made by the BoT to the Money Planners Consultants were legally paid and the BoT had never complained about being robbed since even the witness from the BoT had said the payments were legitimate.
In his testimony, Farijala Hussein, who is the second accused, claimed that they were not the ones who inherited the debit, but Paul Nyingo and Fundi Karunga, who went to them to ask for a 150m/- loan.
He claimed that in order to open an account the person needed to have money and at that time Nyingo and Katunga did not have it.
He alleged that after following all the procedures, they managed to open an account at the United Bank of Africa, which now is known as Commercial Bank of Africa, where the BoT paid the said debt.
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.