Ten to face noose for killing militia man

THE High Court in Tanga has sentenced ten people to death by hanging for killing a militia man (Sungusungu), Mbwana Kilo, at Mwenge Area in Lulago Village-Kilindi District in Tanga Region.

Judge Latifa Mansoor imposed the sentence after convicting the said ten people of murder, an offence which was committed on October 23, 2013 at the village office, after the prosecution had proved their case beyond reasonable doubt.

“I find the ten accused, namely Haji Mtana, Khalidi Sekintu, Omary Said, Toba Sekintu, Abdallah Mrisho, Mnyamisi Saidi, Abdurrahman Mwenjuma, Juma Ntana, Ramadhani Mngumi and Jawa Mntana are guilty of committing the offence of murder and are hereby convicted of the offence,” the judge declared.

In her judgment dated June 21, 2023, the judge pointed out that the prosecution’s evidence was watertight, there was no missing links and the little discrepancies that occurred during the trial did not go to the root of the matter and shake the weight of the evidence in its totality.

She named some of the discrepancies as the time when the accused persons were taken to Central Police Dodoma from the points of their arrest, to who did what during the attack, names of some of the accused persons or the deceased and the evidence of the pathologist(s), who performed the post examination.

“The accused persons were seen and identified at the crime scene and there was proof that they participated in attacking the deceased to his demise, with the common intention to commit a crime in an unlawful assembly, any other minor discrepancies created no doubt of prosecution evidence,” she said.

On whether the accused persons act was actuated by malice aforethought, the judge noted that the intention to cause death could be ascertained from various factors such as the amount of force applied or the conduct of the attacker before and after the attack.

Judge Mansoor said that the ten accused persons matched to the crime scene armed with machete and sticks, uttering words that they must fight the non-believers, “the kafirs”, the injuries sustained, the kind of weapons and number of blows show that they had an intention to kill the deceased.

During hearing, the accused persons had raised a defence of alibis, that they were not present at the scene of the crime at the time the offence was committed. However, having analyzed the alibis, the judge discovered several contradictions which affected their truth.

“The defence of alibi was more likely an afterthought than a genuine one and since the accused persons (except one) were adequately identified and recognized at the crime scene, the defence of alibi was diminished,” she said.

During the trial, the convicted persons were charged with the offence jointly with ten others.

However, the court set free nine of them at the earliest stage of the trial after being found with no case to answer, while the other one was acquitted after the prosecution failed to prove the charge against him.

Facts show that on October 22, 2013, an occurrence took place in Lulago Village. Most of the residents of the said village were Muslims of Shafii Caste, but in recent years some of the villagers, in particular, the younger ones converted to Answar.

The occurrence took place when two people in the Village, Juma Mtana and Rajabu Mtana refused to pay levy to the Village after selling Cardamoms. During the fracas, the Village Chairman and the deceased were injured. Such two culprits were subsequently detained in the Village office.

The next morning, that is, on October 23, 2013, a group of people believed to be of Answar Muslim consisting of 20 or more persons, armed with sticks and machetes headed to the Village office for the purposes of rescuing Juma and Rajabu.

It was said that one of the persons in the group attacked the militia man (the deceased), the latter fell down and another member of the group slashed him at the back of the head with machete, a blow which killed the security guard.

The rest of the group attacked the deceased on the legs and on the stomach, while others were ordered by their leaders to take Sunna, meaning repeat slashing the deceased on the wounded area by machete. Then, they all disappeared; some left the Village some remained in the Village before being arrested.

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