Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Lawmaker Demands 400 Million/- in Legal Costs

Arusha — MR Mussa Mkanga, the person who filed the electoral case against the Arusha-Urban Member of Parliament, Mr Godbless Lema, is said to have suddenly gone missing from the City.

The development comes shortly after Mr Lema announced that he would be filing a bill of costs which will see him demand more than 400 million/- from Mr Mkanga and two other people who had sued him alleging campaign misconduct. This development prompted the High-Court to nullify his 2010 parliamentary victory.

Efforts to trace Mr Mkanga's whereabouts have not been successful. His phone is not accessible and has remained off-the-air since Lema won his appeal. "Mkanga and his supporters must pay 400 million/- or go straight to prison," announced the newly reinstated Member of Parliament who like Shylock; Lema apparently, is now out to demand his pound of flesh from the nemesis.

As the result, as observers conclude, Mr Mussa Mkanga, a former Ward Councillor for Sombetini, has suddenly gone missing. His neighbours admit that he hasn't been seen around for a while but explained that being the end of the year, he probably has gone to his home area in Singida to visit relatives.

Mkanga is a widower having lost his wife a few years ago. Already the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in Arusha District has disowned the case filed by Mkanga and his colleagues saying it had nothing to do with the ruling party and that the trio who initiated it, despite being party members, did so on their own.

This means when it comes to paying the huge fine, Mr Mkanga and his two partners, Mr Happy Kivuyo and Ms Agness Mollel, will have to bear the burden on their own. And at 0.4 billion /- the bill of costs claimed by Mr Lema, is enough to send anybody sneaking out of town.

Mr Mussa Mkanga is an expert in filing electoral cases. He is also credited in dragging to court the first ever opposition Member of Parliament for Arusha-Urban, Mr Makongoro Nyerere, who won the seat via NCCR-Mageuzi party here in the 1995 maiden multi-party general elections.

Mr Nyerere was relieved of his parliamentary status later in 1997 and the repeated polls saw the election of Mr Felix Christopher Mrema of CCM who maintained the victory until 2010 when CCM ejected him off in favour of Ms Batilda Buriani during the party primaries.

Ms Batilda Buriani was thus nominated to run for Arusha- Urban seat in 2010 against the charismatic Lema of Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo and the latter beat her.

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