31 January 2013

Tanzania: Arusha Scribe in Court Over Bribe

Arusha — AN Arusha-based stringer working with various Swahili tabloids, Mr Joseph Ngilisho, has appeared before the court charged with soliciting for bribe from an East African Community (EAC) Secretariat official.

Mr Ngilisho, who writes for "Zanzibar Leo, Dira and Sema Usikike" publications, appeared before Resident Magistrate Hawa Mguruta in a case being prosecuted by an inspector from the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Ms Rehema Mteta, at the Arusha Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

According to the prosecutor, the accused was arrested on Monday, when he showed up to collect 500,000/- which was supposed to be advanced payment of 2mil/- he had asked to be paid in order to kill a certain story he was working on.

Mr Ngilisho had once covered a story in the 'Dira' newspaper to the effect that a senior estate officer at the EAC secretariat, Mr Phil-Makini Kleruu, had misappropriated some funds as well as materials for the newly built EAC headquarters and as a result, the facility was cracking and leaking.

Later, Mr Ngilisho allegedly went to look for Mr Kleruu and gave him an ultimatum of paying him 2mil/- in cash so that he may drop the story as well as write a rejoinder to clear the officer from the graft case.

The reporter, who was represented by his attorney, Mr Edmund Ngelemi, has denied the charges and is back in custody awaiting second hearing of the case set for February 12. This was after he failed to get sureties to bail him out.

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