Duo sentenced to two years over impersonating TISS officers

TWO people have been sentenced to two years in prison or pay a fine amounting to 3.9m/- after being convicted of impersonating Tanzania Intelligence and Security Service (TISS) officers, among other charges.

Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court Principal Resident Magistrate, Richard Kabate, made the judgment after convicting the duo on the impersonation offense and other related crimes.

The convicted are businessmen, Joshua Kamalamo (37) and Yahaya Kapalatu (31) who are all residents of Dar es Salaam.

Delivering the judgment, Magistrate Kabate said after going through the evidence from the prosecution, the court was satisfied without any reasonable doubt that the accused persons committed the crimes after evaluating the prosecution’s and the defense’s evidence.

He claimed that the court has given such punishment considering the fact that this is the first time the convicts have been found guilty before court, and the first convict (Kamalamo) is undergoing eye treatment after being diagnosed with cataract, even though that is not a defense.

“If the convicts had the guts and audacity to approach the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) pretending they were TISS officers, they should be punished so that it serves as a lesson to others,” said Magistrate Kabate.

Elaborating on the punishment, he noted that the first convict (Kamalamo) was facing two charges of false pretense, for which the court sentenced him to pay a fine of 1.4m/-  or go to jail for two years.

However, on another charge of impersonating and the charge of being a TISS officer, he is convicted to pay a fine of 1.5m/- or going to jail for two years.

He further said that on the part of the second convict (Kapalatu), the court has been lenient on him, because he was involved in the charge unknowingly after being called by the first convict, who asked to meet him at Kigamboni so that he could accompany him somewhere (of which he later noticed it was the DPP’s office).

Following the circumstances, “the Court sentences you to pay a fine of 1m/- for the such offense or serve two years in prison,” explained Magistrate Kabate.

Magistrate Kabate said that the court decided to punish him in that way to ensure he does not repeat the offense the next time he receives a call and is instructed to go there. He needs to exercise prudence.

According to the prosecution, the convicts were alleged to have committed the offenses on June 12, 2021, at the DPP offices within the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Dar es Salaam.

It is alleged that on the day of the incident, the convicts, while in the office, introduced themselves to DPP, Sylvester Mwakitalu and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DDPP), Joseph Pande, saying that they were TISS officers, while they knew it was a lie.

The intimidation was to convince the DPP to put an end to the plea bargains in the Economic Sabotage Case No 27 of 2017 that the accused Harbinder Seth was involved in. The duo paid the fine and avoided getting jailed.

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