Dar es Salaam — Tycoon Yusuf Manji and three co-accused were on Thursday discharged of charges of economic sabotage, illegal possession of government stamps and fabrics used for making Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) uniforms.
The case against Mr Manji and co-accused was scheduled to come on September 18 but the accused were unexpectedly brought to court yesterday on the request of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Mr Manji, who has already spent nearly two months behind bars was apparently in disbelief when Senior State Attorney Kishenyi Mutalemwa informed the court that the DPP no longer had intentions to pursue the matter.
Others who faced similar charges and acquitted by the court were Deogratius Kisinda, 28, and Thobias Ewere, 43.
Section 91 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act empowers the DPP to enter nolle prosequi-that proceedings against accused shall not continue and that the accused shall be discharged. However, the law is clear that the discharge shall not operate as a bar to any subsequent proceeding against him on account of the same facts.
Following the request, Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi discharged the accused and declared that the accused were free persons.
Soon after the court declared them free, Mr Manji asked the magistrate about complaints he filed in the same court about decision by his party CCM to strip him of his Mbagala Kuu councillorship seat.
Temeke mayor Abdallah Chaurembo announced recently that the district council decided to strip Mr Manji of his concillorship position after failing to attend six consecutive meetings of the development committee of Temeke District Council.
Mr Manji had told the court that the decision was unfair because he could not attend the meetings while in custody.
Charges against Mr Manji were read to him at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute on July 5 this year where he had been admitted for treatment over heart problems.
State Attorney Tulumanywa Majigo alleged that Manji and the others were on June 30 this year at Chang'ombe found by a police officer in possession of 35 bundles of fabric used for making TPDF uniforms valued Sh200 million. State lawyers claimed that the materials had been unlawfully acquired.
Prosecution also alleged that on the same date the accused were found in unlawful possession of government stamps, that is, three rubber stamps of the TPDF bearing different addresses without lawful authority.
Such stamps, according to the prosecution, contained different addresses including, "Mkuu wa Kikosi 121 Kikosi Cha Jeshi JWTZ, Kamanda Kikosi 834 KJ Makutupora Dodoma, Commanding Officer 835 KJ, Mgambo P.O. BOX 224, Korogwe."
According to the prosecutions, TPDF addresses were prejudicial to the safety or interests of the United Republic of Tanzania.
The prosecution told the court further that on July 1, 2017, at Chang'ombe A area within Temeke District, jointly and together, all the accused were found in possession of two motor vehicles, which were unlawfully acquired.
The accused were also allegedly found in possession of rubber stamps property of the TPDF, without lawful authority.
He had since been languishing in remand prison after prosecution produced a certificate from the DPP to object bail to the accused on the grounds of national security.
The tycoon found himself landing on a series of endless troubles in February after the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda named him among several individuals who were to report to the police over allegations of having links in the drug trade.
He was later discharged with using narcotic drug and was granted bail.
The Quality Group chairman found himself in trouble after the Immigration Department accused him of employing 25 foreigners without valid work permits.
The latest misfortune to befall Mr Manji is the decision by President John Magufuli to revoke ownership of his 714-acres farm in Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam. The decision was known just a day before he was discharged following DPP's order.
The revocation of ownership of his land was announced by the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Mr William Lukuvi.