THREE Members of Parliament (MPs) have surrendered themselves before Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam in response to arrest warrants against them over their alleged bail jump.
The legislators on Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) ticket are facing seditious trial.
They were Peter Msigwa, the MP for Iringa Urban, John Heche, the MP for Tarime Rural and Halima Mdee, lawmaker for Kawe.
Immediately thereafter, the police put them under arrest and took them to Oysterbay Police Station where they were locked up until today when they will be brought to the court.
The whereabouts of the fourth lawmaker, Ester Bulaya, the MP for Bunda Urban, on whom another arrest warrant was issued, could not be known.
Her lawyer, Peter Kibatala, claimed that she is reportedly sick. Last Friday, Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba, who is conducting the trial, ordered the arrest of the four MPs when they failed to attend the hearing of their case and directed their sureties to be subpoenaed and show cause why they did not bring the accused to court.
He took into consideration an application presented by the prosecution, led by Principal State Attorney Faraja Nchimbi, Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon and State Attorneys Salim Msemo and Jacqueline Nyantori.
During the hearing session, the party’s National Chairman Freeman Mbowe, who was in court, was required to continue giving his defence testimony through cross-examination by the prosecution.
However, the magistrate was forced to adjourn the proceedings to November 19, 2019. Other accused who were in court are party’s Secretary General Vicent Mashinji, John Mnyika, Deputy Secretary General (Mainland), Salum Mwalimu, Deputy Secretary General (Zanzibar) and Tarime Urban MP, Ester Matiko.
They are charged with 13 counts of conspiracy to commit offences, unlawful assembly, rioting after proclamation, raising discontent and ill-will for unlaw- ful 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.
According to the prosecution, on the same day at Buibui grounds, while addressing Kinondoni residents at a public meeting, Mbowe, Mdee and Heche made statements likely to raise discontent and promote feelings of ill-will amongst the inhabitants of the United Republic of Tanzania.