THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam today (Thursday, Sept 12, 2019) found Chadema’s National Chairman, Freeman Mbowe and eight other party senior officials with a case to answer on all 11 seditious charges they are facing.
Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba ruled that the prosecution through eight witnesses established a prima facie case requiring them to enter their defence against the charges.
Other accused are Member of Parliament (MP) for Kawe and Kibamba, Halima Mdee and John Mnyika, respectively, as well as party’s Secretary General Vicent Mashinji.
The rest are Salum Mwalimu, who is Deputy Secretary General (Zanzibar), Peter Msigwa, the MP for Iringa Urban, John Heche, the MP for Tarime Rural, Ester Bulaya, who is MP for Bunda Urban as well as Tarime Urban MP, Ester Matiko.
They are charged with 11 counts of with conspiracy to commit offences, unlawful assembly, rioting after proclamation, raising discontent and ill-will for unlawful purposes, sedition and inciting commission of offences. The charges are alleged to have been committed between February 1 and 16, 2018 in the city.
The prosecution alleges that on February 16, 2018 along Kawawa Road at Mkwajuni area, being assembled with intent to carry out a common purpose, jointly and together, all accused persons conducted themselves in such a manner as to cause a fear of breach of peace.
It is claimed further that on the same day and place, with more than 12 other persons not in court, having riotously assembled, in disobedience of proclamation given by a police officer, the accused persons failed to disperse and continued to take part in the riot.
Thereby, according to the prosecution, the accused persons breached the peace and terrifying the public culminating in the death of National Institute of Transport (NIT) Student, Akwilina Akwiline Baftaa, and injury of two police officers, Police Constable Fikiri and Corporal Rahim Msangi.