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Man sentenced to death by hanging for murdering wife

THE High Court of Tanzania in Sumbawanga has sentenced a villager from Mawiti in Mlele District, Katavi Region, Shija Balahaya (53), to death by hanging for intentionally killing his first wife.

The man was accusing his first wife of being a witch, who allegedly caused the death of the child of his second wife.

The accused was found guilty of murdering his first wife by slashing her private parts using a sharp knife and severely stabbed her in different parts of her body, including the stomach and neck and subsequently caused her death.

Earlier, the accused was sentenced by the same court to death hanging, but he appealed to the Court of Appeal, challenging both the charge and conviction.

It was in that light, the Court of Appeal ordered a fresh hearing of his case.

“You're hereby sentenced to death by hanging,” declared the High Court of Tanzania -Sumbawanga Zone Judge in Charge David Mrago, when delivering the judgment against the accused on Friday.

The High Court session was held at the Katavi Magistrates’ Court in Mpanda Town.

The trial judge declared that the accused had committed the offence against Section 196 of the Penal Code (R.E 2007).

Judge Mrigo ruled that the prosecution side had through eyewitnesses sufficiently proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had intentionally murdered his first wife.

The trial judge declared further that the prosecution side led by State Attorney Lugano Mwasubila had through the witnesses summoned at the court substantiated the case beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused cruelly killed his first wife who he accused of being a witch and through her alleged witchery tricks caused the death of the child of his second wife.

Soon after the death of the child of his second wife the accused allegedly consulted traditional doctors who told him that his first wife had murdered the child through witchery tricks.

While reading the judgment the trial judge told the court that after the accused had committed the offence he confessed before his close relative and his son that he had killed his wife.

Earlier Prosecuting State Attorney Mwasubila alleged before the court that the accused committed the offence on December 2, 2012 at night at Mawiti Village in Mlele District, Katavi Region.

On mitigation he maintained that he was innocent and denied to have had committed the offence.

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Author: PETI SIYAME in Mpanda

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