6 January 2014

Tanzania: Court Throws Out Sh200 Million Compensation Suit

THE High Court in Dar es Salaam has dismissed a suit lodged by a Congolese national, Lucien Rashid, demanding compensation of 200m/- from four defendants, including Home Affairs Permanent Secretary and prominent advocate Jerome Msemwa, over claims of wrongful detention.

Judge Zainabu Mruke ruled that "the defendants did nothing wrong that could injure the plaintiff (Rashid). This suit against the defendants is unfounded and is hereby dismissed."

Other defendants in the suit were Attorney General and one Mussa Ruganda Leki, who had a civil case with Rashid.

She said that the defendants succeeded in showing that the plaintiff's arrest and detention was lawful and could not be said in the circumstances that he was injured by the wrongful acts. She further noted that Rashid failed to prove that advocate Msemwa and Leki were involved in his arrest and detention.

Facts of the case show that Rashid had successfully sued Mr Leki at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in the city.

Mr Leki allegedly failed to pay the decretal sum awarded in favour of the plaintiff. As a result, the court ordered for attachment and sale of his vehicle.

Despite the attachment order, Mr Leki failed to settle the amount, an act that forced Rashid to apply for the former to be summoned so as to show cause why he should not be detained as a civil prisoner.

That is where advocate Msemwa joined the proceedings having been approached by Mr Leki to defend him.

It is alleged that during hearing of the application in question, the defendants maliciously reported Rashid to Immigration Department which is under the Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs ministry.

He was subsequently arrested and taken to Central Police Station where he was detained for five days.

Rashid claimed that he was subsequently taken to court and later to Segerea Prison where he was detained for 13 days before he was released without being prosecuted and was ordered to leave the country within seven days.

It was alleged further that while in prison, in search of bhang and money, Rashid was undressed by the prison officers in the presence of his two children.

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