- JPM extends amnesty deadline
PRESIDENT John Ma- gufuli yesterday received a list of 467 economic sabotage suspects who have opted to plead guilty to their charges and repay over 100bn/- for release from remand prison.
During the dossier receipt at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Presi- dent Magufuli extended the deadline for more seven days to allow other ac- cused who could have failed to meet the initial deadline.
The accused have up to October 7, 2019 to submit their confessions in hand writing to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Dr Magufuli had on September 22, 2019, while swearing in various lead- ers whom he had appointed, advised the DPP to consider dropping charg- es facing economic crime suspects through the legal channels should the defendants confess their crimes and re- pay the loss involved.
But, he warned yesterday that after expiry of the new deadline there will be no mercy for economic sab- otage criminals, ordering the chief prosecutor to press hard on their charges in courts. He assured the suspects and others who have not re- sponded that the amnesty was genuine.
“The pardon is for real and don’t be cheated that once you confess the govern- ment will proceed with the charges. I understand that some lawyers representing the sus- pects are misleading their cli- ents by advising them not to respond but these (the lawyers) are just doing this to continue minting money from their cli- ents,” he stated.
He directed the DPP to expedite procedures for early release of the suspects through legal channels. President Magufuli said the envisaged recoverable 107bn/- will finance develop- ment projects, “We also under- stand that some businesses by these suspects have stalled due to their incarceration, once re- leased they will continue with their businesses from which the government will collect taxes.”
DPP Biswalo Mganga said some suspects have agreed to confess and refund 7.884bn/- in local currency and 2.563 million US dollars (over 5.7bn/-), promptly raking in 13.6bn/-. Other suspects have agreed to repay 94.240bn/- in install- ments as per agreement be- tween the two parties, bringing the total amount to 107.842bn/- .
Mr Mganga asked Presi- dent Magufuli to extend the deadline for at least three days, saying some letters had not reached his office due to the country’s vastness and geog- raphy.
Dr Magufuli responded in affirmative and extended the period by seven days. According to the DPP, one of the suspects last Friday re- sponded and pleaded guilty before the court, immediately paying 450,000 US dollars (about 1.3bn/-) and 5m/- fine.
“During the same day, an- other suspect who was arrested with 2,123.64 grammes of var- ious minerals and gemstones valued at 15,876 US dollars (about 36m/-) confessed, paid the fine and surrendered the minerals.
“My office is closely scru- tinising charges facing the sus- pects on areas of agreement and altering the charges to enable them pay the money in courts in accordance to the law.
This aimed at avoiding the pos- sibility of the suspect suing the government in future,” he said. Mr Mganga explained fur- ther that after the submissions of the suspect pleas, the DPP office will continue with other procedures in courts for their release as per requirements of the law.
Dr Magufuli condemned some prison officers whom he accused of frustrating suspects who are willing to respond to the amnesty by soliciting bribes from them.