SIX persons allegedly linked with the murder of former prominent lawyer and politician, Dr Edmund Sengondo Mvungi, on Tuesday complained over undue delay of investigations and asked for subpoena of Regional Crime Officer (RCO) or they be returned to police custody.
They told Resident Magistrate Vick Mwaikambo at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam that they had been languishing in remand since 2013 when they were arraigned in connection with the murder, but no trial has so far commenced because of incomplete investigations.
Msigwa matonya, Mianda Mlewa, alias White, Paulo Mndonondo, Longishu Losingo, Juma Kangungu and John Mayunga, alias Ngosha, were reacting to the position given by State Attorney Faraji Nguka, who had sought adjournment of the case to allow the prosecution more time to look for evidence.
The accused persons expressed their dissatisfaction on the prosecution’s sentiments, recalling that the court was told the same thing in 2019 and the case was referred to the High Court for trial.
While at the High Court, they charged, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) changed the “gear” and decided to drop the murder charge against the accused by entering a nolle prosequi certificate in their favour.
However, the accused were rearrested and taken back to Kisutu Court and charged afresh.
According to them, it was at that point in time that the endless song of investigations was sung.
They requested the court to either summon the investigator, in particular the RCO or they be returned to police custody.
“We have got to the point of saying so because we have stayed in remand for so long. We fail to understand whether this court is acting fairly. This is the seventh year now and the investigation is not yet complete,” one of the accused, Longishu Losingo, pointed out.
In her short ruling, however, the magistrate told the accused that her court lacked jurisdiction to issue such orders. She adjourned the case to January 28, 2020, for another mention, pending further investigations.
The prosecution alleges that the accused persons killed Dr Mvungi on November 3, 2013, at Msakuzi Kiswegere area in Kinondoni District in the city.
It is alleged that a group of suspected robbers stormed the residence of Dr Mvungi (61) at night and critically wounded him when fighting them.
He was first admitted at the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) intensive care unit in Dar es Salaam, but his condition remained critical, prompting a referral to Milpark Hospital in Parktown West, Johannesburg, South Africa on November 7, 2013.
Dr Mvungi, the renowned lawyer and 2005 presidential candidate under NCCR-Mageuzi ticket, died in the South African hospital on November 13, 2013.
Dr Mvungi was an Advocate of the High Court and Court of Appeal.
He was a Commissioner for Oaths and Notary Public and had been a Dean of the Faculty of Law and lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam and a Board Member and Affiliation Vice Chairman for the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT). Until his death he was Deputy Vice Chancellor - University of Bagamoyo.
Dr Mvungi also worked as a journalist with Uhuru and Mzalendo newspapers in the 70s and 80s, before leaving the journalism profession to study law