Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Liyumba Denies Illegal Cellphone Possession Charge

THE former Director of Administration and Personnel of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Amatus Liyumba, denied possession of a mobile phone while in prison.

Testifying before Senior Resident Magistrate, Augustino Mbando, the accused claimed that there were plots two years ago to ensure that he spent the rest of his life in jail.

Being led by advocate Hudson Ndusyepo, Liyumba said he did not possess a mobile phone while in jail as claimed by the prosecution, adding that he was surprised when some of the prison wardens indicated collaboration with his enemies who had sworn to have him stay in jail forever.

Senior Resident Magistrate Mbando said he would issue judgement on the case on January 15, next year. Liyumba, in his testimony, claimed that on July 27, 2011 while reading newspaper with his cell mate known as Mkenya, a prison officer he identified by one name as Patrick came along holding a mobile phone and asked him where he (Liyumba) got it from.

"I almost fainted owing to hypertension. Then I asked the prison officer, "Why are you humiliating me this way? Till when will you end such offending incidents, I am just fed up," he told Magistrate Mbando.

He claimed that the phone in fact belonged to Patrick because, with the tight security and inspection in prison cells, there was no chance to smuggle it into the cell.

Liyumba was first charged on September 8, 2011 with smuggling the mobile phone while in a cell at Ukonga prison which he allegedly used to contact some government officials.

At the time, he was serving a two-year custodial sentence after the same court found him guilty of abuse of office during construction of a new building of the BoT's head office in the city.

The prosecution told the court that the accused was found with a cellphone with a subscriber identity module (SIM) card number 0653- 004662 and an identification security (IMEI) code 356273/04/276170/3.

It was alleged further that Liyumba brought to Ukonga Prison in Ilala, Dar es Salaam, the mobile phone on July 27, 2011, contrary to applicable law and prison regulations.

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