Chadema leaders, 8 others face sedition charges

22Oct 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Chadema leaders, 8 others face sedition charges

THE opposition Chadema Chairman Freeman Mbowe with eight other leaders will after 14 days start defending themselves before the Kisutu Resident Magistrates Court on the sedition charges they are facing.

The case is expected to start with hearing of witnesses from the defense side for three days from November 4 to 6, 2019.

Senior Resident Magistrate, Thomas Simba announced the decision after hearing from both sides. Earlier, the defense side requested for 21 days for preparations before hearing of the case but the state objected.

On a plea by the defense side to use a video CD, Magistrate Simba asked the accused to write to the court three days before the set date so that the court can prepare a special room for viewing.

The Magistrate insisted that the video CD will be watched under conditions and supervision of the court. He said viewing of the video CD will be done using the court’s properties.

Apart from Mbowe, other accused are Vicent Mashinji, who is the party’s Secretary General, John Mnyika, the Deputy Secretary General (Mainland) and Salum Mwalimu, Deputy Secretary General (Zanzibar).

Others are Peter Msigwa, Member of Parliament for Iringa Urban, Ester Matiko, Tarime Urban MP, Halima Mdee, Kawe MP, John Heche, Tarime Rural MP and Ester Bulaya, Bunda Urban.

They are charged with 11 counts including; conspiracy to commit offences, unlawful assembly, rioting after proclamation, raising discontent and ill-will for unlawful purposes, sedition and inciting commission of offences.

The charges are alleged to have been committed between February 1 and 16, 2018 in the city. The prosecution alleges that on February 16, 2018 along Kawawa Road at Mkwajuni area, being assembled with intent to carry out a common purpose, jointly and together, all accused conducted themselves in a manner as to cause fear of breach of peace.

It is claimed further that on the same day and place, with over 12 other persons, the accused riotously assembled, in disobedience of proclamation given by a police officer, the accused failed to disperse and continued to take part in the riot.

According to the prosecution, the accused breached peace and terrified the public, leading to death of a National Institute of Transport Student, Akwilina Akwiline Baftaa and injury of two police officers, Police Constable Fikiri and Corporal Rahim Msangi.