THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday sentenced three employees with Chinese Company, Jiangxi International (T) Limited, to four years in jail or pay 9.3m/- fine for violating laws under the National Environment Management Council (NEMC).
Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi convicted the trio, two Chinese nationals: Xia Yanan (26), an Engineer and Chen Jinchuan (31), a foreman, as well as a Tanzanian, Mtala Habibu, alias Chande (29), an Electrician on their own plea of guilty to two counts they were charged with.
The offences under which they were convicted of include failure to undertake environmental assessment and disobedience of lawful order. Such offences were committed between January and August 28, 2018 at Regent Estate area of Kinondoni District in the city.
Earlier, the prosecution led by Senior State Attorneys Nassoro Katuga and Patrick Mwita as well as State Attorney Faraja Nkoka, had requested the court to severely punish the offenders though there were no previous criminal records involving them.
The prosecution submitted that though two of the convicts came all the way from China to invest in Tanzania, the sentence to be imposed should serve as a lesson to them and any others that they needed to respect the country’s laws irrespective of their mission in the country.
Advocate Kauza Nicholas, for the convicts, informed the court that his clients are first offenders and that they have admitted to the charges in order to serve the court’s time and other resources. He, therefore, pressed for lenient sentence and undertook to guide them in the next future on all matters of law.
Prosecuting, the prosecution told the court that within the period and place, being developers of a project located on Plot. No. 306 at Regent Estate, the accused undertook the project without an environmental impact assessment, the act which is contrary to the law.
The court was further told that on the same period and place, the accused disobeyed a lawful order of stopping further construction of the project at the plot issued by the Acting Director General of NEMC in a letter dated August 28, 2018.
When presenting the memorandum of facts of the case, the trial attorneys stated that on August 28, 2018, the Managing Director of Jiangxi International (T) Limited was ordered by NEMC to stop the construction works on the plot through an environmental protection order in a form of a letter.
Despite the letter issued by NEMC Acting Director General, the accused disobeyed the order and continued with construction. On October 20, 2018, officers of NEMC visited the site and found the accused continuing with the development of the area.
The officers of NEMC acted upon the order and arrested the accused. Thereafter, the accused were sent to a police station before their arraignment.