The Court of appeal yesterday adjourned hearing of a government appeal against former Dar es Salaam regional crimes officer Abdallah Zombe and eight other police officers until further notice.
The case had come up for hearing but it was adjourned by Judge Natalia Kimaro because the panel of three judges lined up to hear the appeal was incomplete owing to one of them, Judge Semistocles Kaijage, being indisposed.
On October 6, 2006 the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) filed the appeal against a High Court judgment which acquitted Zombe and his co-accused of the murder charges they were facing.
In the appeal the government will be presented by seven state attorneys while the defence will be presented by five advocates.
The appeal, when it resumes, will be heard by a panel comprising Court of Appeal Justices Semistocles Kaijage, Nathalia Kimaro and Catherine Orio.
Zombe and his co-accused were charged with the murder of three mineral businessmen from Mahenge, in Morogoro region, and one taxi driver, a resident of Dar es Salaam.
The deceased are Sabinus Chigumbi, alias Jongo, his relatives Ephrahim Chigumbi and Mathias Lunkombe, and Juma Ndugu, the taxi driver.
In the original murder case the accused allegedly in January 2006, at Pande forest on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, committed the offence.
Apart from Zombe, the other accused are ASP Christopher Bageni, ASP Ahmed Makelle, Constable Noel Leonard, Constable Jane Andrew, Corporal Nyangerela Moris, Constable Emanuel Mabula na Corporal Felix Sedrick.
Others are Constable Michael Shonza, Corporal Abeneth Salo, Corporal Rashid Lema (who died before the trial commenced), Corporal Rajabu Bakari and Corporal Festus Gwabisabi.
On September 17, 2009 the High Court acquitted all the accused, saying that after the adduced testimony and submissions of both sides, the court was satisfied that the accused were not guilty of the offence they were charged with.
Judge Salum Masati, who presided over the case, said the accused were not the ones who committed the murders, adding that the killers were still at large.
Masati further ordered the prosecution to find and bring to court the real killers.
However, DPP appealed against the judgment, arguing that Judge Masati was wrong to have discharged the accused.
In the appeal, the DPP forwarded eleven reasons for his move, claiming that, according to the testimony presented in court, all the accused were guilty of the charges preferred against them.