Ex-soldier faces death for murder

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FORMER member of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDC) Elinasani Ng’eng’e is to be hanged for killing his wife, Rehema Matiku, after stabbing her repeatedly with a knife over a quarrel involving sale of a plot.

This follows a decision by the Court of Appeal to dismiss the appeal Ng’eng’e, the appellant, had lodged to fault findings by High Court Judge Iman Aboud on July 27, 2012.

Justices Mbarouk Mbarouk, Augustine Mwarija and Shaban Lila said, in part: “The charge of murder against the appellant was proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution. We therefore find...the appeal generally devoid of merits.

In the event, we dismiss the appeal.” In support of his appeal, the appellant had advanced several grounds, arguing that the trial judge erred in law and facts by convicting him for the offence of murder in absence of a knife which was not tendered as exhibit in court.

He had alleged that the trial judge erred for holding that the charge against him was proved beyond reasonable doubt, and that the judge was wrong in disregarding the defence of provocation and self defence he had raised.

Furthermore, the appellant has alleged that the trial judge erred by basing her judgment on post mortem report which was not admitted to his prejudice, thus occasioning failure of justice, and that she was wrong in convicting him of the murder charge while the cause of death was a fight.

In their judgment, however, the justices allowed only one ground of appeal relating to nonproduction of the postmortem report. They ruled that the other grounds lacked merits as there was sufficient evidence to disprove them.

They noted the proceedings were silent on the matter of fighting as the evidence only show those who were present at the scene heard only noise of exchange of words concerning sale of the plot, and the issue of the appellant instructing his wife to go to live with him in Musoma, but she resisted.

As regard to the absence of the knife, the justices agreed with the prosecution that there was no doubt that the deceased was killed by a knife, even if not tendered and they found it not a fatal omission.

It was the prosecution’s case that the appellant committed the offence on February 17, 2010 at Ukonga area in Ilala District, Dar es Salaam. Facts showed that the appellant and deceased were blessed with five children during their matrimonial life.

One of the children had testified that on the material day while sleeping at night at around 03.00 hours, he heard noise from his parents’ bedroom and heard his mother screaming for help. The child with his sister and young brother, thereafter proceeded to the room to offer help.

While there, he saw his father stabbing his mother with a knife. Then he saw the mother trying to escape, but she was blocked by his father.

According to his evidence, he tried to help his mother, but he was overpowered by his father, who pulled the mother inside and continued stabbing her with the knife.

Thereafter, he decided to run to the police station and reported the matter. When the child arrived in accompany of the policemen at the scene of crime, they found the mother at the corridor near her bedroom, while the father had locked himself inside.

The child had told the court that with the help of their neighbuors, they managed to get his father out of the room, and later arrested him and sent him to the police station. They also took his mother to the hospital, but she was pronounced dead on arrival there.

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