THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), is still scrutinizing the case file involving 17 accused persons charged with the murder of a leading South African elephant conservationist in Tanzania, Wayne Lotter.
This was revealed at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam last Friday by State Attorney, Ester Martin, for the prosecution, when the case came for mention. "The case has come for mention.
The DPP is still going through the case file sent to him. The investigations are still incomplete," she told Senior Resident Magistrate, Kelvin Mhina.
Under the circumstances, the trial attorney requested the court to grant another adjournment of the case. The magistrate granted the request and adjourned the trial to August 30, 2019. Lawyers say that three things could happen when the prosecution's case file is taken to the DPP.
He may draw new charges for prosecution of accused persons depending on the presented evidence to him.
The DPP could either enter nolle prosequi certificate in favor of the accused persons if the evidence brought before him was insufficient to mount their prosecution.
Or the DPP may return the case file to the investigative machinery with directives of carrying out further investigation on some aspects he noticed during perusal.
The accused persons in the murder trial are Burundian nationals; Habonimana Nyandwi, alias Ogistee, and Nduimana Zebedayo, alias Mchungaji, Khalid Mwinyi, alias Banyata, a banker, and his sister, Rahma Mwinyi, alias Baby, a businesswoman.
Others are Mohamed Maganga, an office attendant, Godfrey Salamba, Innocent Kimaro, Chambie Ally, and Allan Mafuwe, who are all businessmen, Robert Mwaipyana (31), a bank officer and Ismail Mohamed, alias Machips, a Somali national.
In the same boat are Leonard Makoi, Amini Sham, Ayoub Selemani, Joseph Lukoa, Gaudence Matemu and Abuu Mkingie, who are all businessmen.
The prosecution claims that on diverse dates between July 1 and August 16, 2017, within the United Republic of Tanzania, all accused persons conspired to murder Wayne Derek Lotter. It is alleged that on August 16, 2017, at the junction of Chole and Haile Selasie Road within Kinondoni District in the Commercial City of Dar es Salaam, the accused persons murdered Wayne Derek Lotter, who was a South African anti-poacher campaigner.
Wayne Lotter was shot when he was being driven from the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport to his hotel when his taxi was blocked by another vehicle.
Two men, one armed with a gun, allegedly opened his car door and shot him at point blank. Lotter was the director and cofounder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO that provides conservation and anti-poaching support to communities and governments in Africa.
Since starting the organization in Tanzania in 2009, he had received numerous death threats relating to his work.