18 February 2016

Tanzania: Officers Held in Albino Bribery Saga

Sumbawanga — A state atorney and two prison warders have been arrested for plotting the escape of a suspect who had been charged with attempted murder of a person living with albinism.

The three officials reportedly received a Sh3 million bribe from the suspect to abet his escape from Mpanda prison. The suspect was identified as 27 year old Manyanza.

Katavi Regional Police Commander Dhahiri Kidavashari told reporters yesterday that the collusion enabled the suspect to remain out of remand prison for 124 days. He was apparently released on October 12, 2015 after offering the bribe.

The police chief said investigations had revealed that the state attorney, Ms Falhati Seif Khatibu,45, received Sh2 million while the warders, John Masagula ,50 and Deogratius Katani ,50, received Sh500,000 each.

According to the RPC, police were tipped off by some members of the the public on the scandal, which subsequently led to confirmation that the suspect was indeed at large. He said an investigation conducted on January 19, this year revealed that suspect, who was being held for allegedly attempting to kill Limi Luchoma ,30, who lives with albinism, by cutting off his palm, had escaped from remand prison. It also emerged that Manyanza's relatives had hatched the escape plan and subsequently hid him in Kipande Village in Rukwa Region.

It further emerged that the relatives bribed the state attorney to dismiss the case.

Commander Kidavashari said the suspect was a notorious criminal who had previously escaped from Kalila Nkulunkulu Prison in the region, where he was serving a five-year jail sentence for livestock theft.

The police boss said after Manyanza's arrest, the law enforcers pursued those who facilitated his escape. The initially arrested Masanja Kasinje, 33, and Ngassa Mashindike, 37, who revealed that the state attorney and the two prison warders were accomplices.

The RPC said all the suspects were in custody and would be arraigned after completition of investigations.


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