THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam jailed a middleman, Abdallah Nassoro Mzombe, to six years for conning former president Ali Hassan Mwinyi out of 37.4m/-, being rent he had been entrusted to collect from tenants.
Resident Magistrate Geni Dudu also ordered the convict to return to the ex-head of state the money he swindled before or after completing his jail term. The prosecution had charged Mzombe with two counts of stealing by agent and after his conviction he was sentenced to three years for each count.
"Having considered the gravity of offences committed and the mitigation factors advanced by the accused, this court sentences Abdallah Nassoro Mzombe to three years on the first count and likewise three years on the second count," Magistrate Dudu declared.
The magistrate, however, ordered the convict to remain behind bars for only three years as the sentences imposed would run concurrently. Magistrate Dudu ruled that the prosecution sufficiently proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offences he was charged with.
Before being sentenced, the accused requested for mercy, alleging that it was his first time to be criminally convicted and that he had a family of small children and that he's also the provider for his parents. However, the prosecution, led by State Attorney Charles Anindo, asked the court to punish the convict severely to deter others who would be tempted to commit similar crimes, considering such offences were on the increase in society.
In convicting Mzombe, the magistrate considered the prosecution's evidence tendered by seven witnesses, including Mr Mwinyi. He said the evidence given by the former president was credible and trustworthy.
According to him, Mr Mwinyi had testified, among others, that he had trusted the middleman to collect rent from tenants in his two houses situated at Mikocheni and Msasani areas, Kinondoni District in the city, but Mzombe never presented to him even a single cent.
The charge sheet shows that between January 1, 2011 and July 10, last year, at Mikocheni area, being agent of the ex-president, Mzombe stole 17.6m/- he was entrusted to collect from tenants of House Number 48, Plot A, being rent fees for the period of 2011/2012 and present the money to Mr Mwinyi.
Furthermore, the court was told that within the same period at Msasani area in Kinondoni District in the city, the middleman stole 19.8m/- he had been entrusted by the ex-president to collect as rent fees from tenants of house number 55 Block C for a period of 2011/2012.