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Malinzi’s TFF bribe scandal judgment postponed to Nov 21

THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court on Thursday postponed to November 21, 2019 from delivering the judgment in the trial of former senior officials with Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), including the former President Jamal Malinzi, who are facing several fraud counts.

Senior Resident Magistrate Kelvin Mhina told the parties (prosecution and defence) that the trial Resident Magistrate Maira Kasonde, who conducted the proceedings, has been transferred to another duty working station, but arrangements were being made for him to prepare the judgment.

“Arrangements will be made for the trial magistrate to prepare the judgment where he is and hopefully by the next court session he will be ready,” Magistrate Mhina, who is in charge of the Dar es Salaam Court said.

Other accused persons into trial are ex- TFF Secretary General, Mwesigwa Celestine, Accounts Officer, Nsiande Mwanga and Flora Rauya, the Clerk with the Federation.

The trial magistrate is set to deliver the judgment after going through the evidence produced in court by prosecution and defence.

During the trial, the prosecution led by an officer with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Leonard Swai called 15 witnesses, while on part of defence led by seasoned advocate, Richard Rweyongeza only four accused persons gave their own evidence to disprove the charges.

While the prosecution summoned witnesses to produce evidence in attempt to connect the officials with the charged offences, the accused persons, through own testimonies, have disassociated themselves with the commission of the offences and, thus, sought for an acquittal.

Facts of the case show that TFF holds and operates six accounts at Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited and that Edgar Masoud, who was TFF Director of Finance and Accounting, was one of the signatories of such accounts.

With the view to change the signatory to such accounts, the prosecution told the court that on September 1, 2016, Celestine presented to the Bank, Center Branch a resolution dated June 5, 2016, purportedly made by TFF Executive Committee. It is alleged that with such resolution, Masoud was replaced by Mwanga.

The prosecution alleged that such resolution was not an outcome of the Committee, but was forged by Malinzi and Celestine.

After Celestine had introduced Mwanga to the Bank as their newly appointed signatory, she was recognised as TFF signatory and was involved in signing cheques, payment vouchers and other payment documents.

On the other hand, according to the prosecution, for the time spanning from June 1, to December 31, 2016, Malinzi was raising false receipts on pretext that TFF had borrowed money from him.

In the strength of the said false receipt, Malinzi was reclaiming payments, it is alleged. It claimed also that Celestine, in his capacity as TFF General Secretary was also the accounting officer and was allegedly involved in aiding Malinzi to be paid.

Mwanga in her capacity as TFF signatory was also allegedly involved in signing some of the payment documents.

The prosecution alleged in addition that as from June 1 to December 31, 2016, Malinzi claimed and actually was paid the sum of 173,335 US dollars and 43,100,000/-.

In the strength of such claims, the accused persons were arrested, interrogated and arraigned in court facing the current charges.

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Author: FAUSTINE KAPAMA

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