Trio to face noose for killing Moshi bodaboda rider

MOSHI: THE High Court, Moshi SubRegistry, has sentenced three people, Godfrey Masawe, Emmanuel Safari, alias Bomoa and Abdallah Msangi, alias John Bosco, to death by hanging for killing a bodaboda rider, Emmanuel Kessy.

Judge Safina Simfukwe imposed such capital punishment against the three accused persons after convicting them of murder, an offence which was committed at Chakito Mdawi area, within the District of Moshi in Kilimanjaro Region on April 13, 2021.

“The prosecution has proved the charges against the three accused persons beyond reasonable doubts. I find (them) guilty of the offence of Murder, contrary to section 196 and 197 of the Penal Code.

They are convicted accordingly as charged” she declared. Before reaching into such a finding, the judge had to determine two issues, including whether the death of the deceased Emmanuel was caused by the accused persons and whether the prosecution proved the charge of murder against them beyond reasonable doubts.

After considering the evidence tendered by five prosecution witnesses and three from the defence side, Judge Simfukwe answered the two issues in the affirmative in the judgment delivered on February 19, 2024, that the accused persons killed Emmanuel.

The evidence tendered shows that on the fateful day, Masawe approached one Godwin, a fellow bodaboda rider so that he could take him to Chakito area at Mjohoroni for 3000/-.

Godwin did not agree to such fair payment. Masawe, according to the evidence of Juma Mdee, also a Bodaboda rider at Kiboriloni bus stand, approached the deceased, who happened to agree to take him to Chakito at Mjohoroni for such amount.

The incidence is alleged to have taken place at 22:00 hrs. Unfortunately, the deceased Emmanuel did not come back at their workplace that night. Next morning on April 14, 2021, fellow bodaboda riders were informed that Emmanuel was found dead at Chakito area the place he was hired to take the passenger at night.

Two days later on April 16, 2021, one of prosecution witnesses saw Massawe while in the company of Safari near the funeral and they managed to put them under arrest.

One of the witnesses positively identified Massawe as one who hired Emmanuel to take him to Chakito.

The identification which was done on April 16, 2021 was also said to have been done with the aid of light from electric bulbs of the nearby house. Mdee insisted that, the bulbs were very bright and he explained the distance between him and Masawe.

Judge Simfukwe pointed out that she was mindful that evidence of identification in unfavourable circumstances must be watertight. However, she said, from the demeanour and coherence of witnesses, she was convinced that Masawe was properly identified.

In his defence, Masawe explained how he was arrested together with Safari on suspicion that they were thieves. Safari supported the defence of Godfrey but he added that, they were surprised to be charged with the offence of murder when they were taken to court.

The judge also recalled the defence testimony of the two accused person, who had alleged that after being arrested, the chairman of that street went at the scene and advised that they should be taken to the Councillor of that area. Both of them were taken to the Councillor who then called the police officers and were taken to the police station.

“In order to establish their defence, I expected the accused persons to have prayed to summon the said Councillor of Kiboriloni so that he could assist them to prove that they were arrested on suspicion of theft and not murder… “Having in mind the fact that the standard of proof when the burden shifts to the accused is on balance of probabilities, summoning the Councillor could suffice to convince this court that the accused persons were arrested on suspicion of theft and not murder,” she said.

The judge further noted the testimony of police officers who explained how the accused persons were arrested.

The witnesses stated that they managed to know the homestead of the accused because there were other suspects who were arrested before. According to such evidence, the accused were interrogated, they explained that there was another suspect whom they cooperated together.

Then, they were taken to the homestead of Msangi. “Having examined evidence of both parties, from what I observed during the trial from demeanour of witnesses, my mind is free of doubts that the three accused persons in this matter, jointly and together murdered Emmanuel Kessy,” the judge ruled.

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