THE High Court, sitting at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam, yesterday sentenced Rukia Ally to three years imprisonment after pleading guilty of manslaughter for stabbing to death her elder brother with a knife.
Senior Resident Magistrate Pamela Mazengo, who was hearing the case under extended jurisdiction, convicted girl, who by appearance looked young, of manslaughter on her own plea of guilty.
Initially, the prosecution had charged her with murder. However, after considering the nature of evidence collected by the investigation, the prosecution reduced the charge to a lesser offence of manslaughter.
However, the penal law provides for a maximum life imprisonment sentence for a person convicted of manslaughter. But the trial judge or magistrate can still reduce the sentence considering the circumstance(s) of the case, and mitigating factors advanced by the parties in the trial and conduct of the accused persons.
In the case, the trial magistrate took into consideration that the accused pleaded guilty to the charge, thus saved the court’s time and that of prosecution of conducting the trial to summon witnesses.
Another factor considered was the accused to have remained in remand for a long time. Before the conviction, the prosecution, led by State Attorney Mwasiti Ally had requested the court to allow the prosecution to make amendments to the charge from murder to manslaughter.
The magistrate granted the request. It was alleged that on January 23, 2015 at Tegeta Mivumoni Madale within Kinondoni District in the City of Dar es Salaam, the accused killed her brother Saidi Ally without intention by stabbing him with a knife.
Having made the amendments, the trial attorney proceeded to present facts of the case showing that the accused and the deceased were blood related sister and brother, all born by single mother and father.
The duo was staying with their relatives jointly at Mivumoni area in Dar es Salaam. On the material day in the evening, the deceased came back home after the day’s activities and found his sister, the accused, who had gone at large for the past three days.
The deceased enquired from the accused, where she had gone, but the accused kept mum.