19 September 2017

Tanzania: Manji Due in Court Again September 25

PROMINENT businessman Yusuf Manji, who is charged with consumption of the narcotic drug heroin, is scheduled to enter the witness box at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam next Monday, to give his defence testimony.

The businessman was initially scheduled to do so yesterday, but the session was re-scheduled to September 25, as the trial magistrate, Principal Resident Magistrate Cyprian Mkeha, was tied up with other official matters.

According to Manji's advocates Hudson Ndusyepo and Hajra Mungula, 5 witnesses had been lined up to support their client's evidence. So far, one witness, the Executive Director of the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI), Prof Mohamed Janabi, has testified for the businessman.

Manji is among people who were named by Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Paul Makonda, as having allegedly committed the offence on diverse dates between February 6 and 9, this year, at Upanga Sea View, in Ilala District.

He is alleged to have consumed heroin (diacetyl-morphine). The businessman is charged under Section 17 (1) (a) of the Drugs Control and Enforcement Act No. 5 of 2005.

Whoever is convicted of the offence is liable to a fine of not less than 1m/- or to imprisonment for a term of five years, or to both. During his defence testimony, Prof Janabi told the court that Manji was once admitted to the institute over heart complications.

According to him, the businessman is having stents in his heart. Stents are pacemakers that regulate heart bits and certain volume of blood.

Stent refers to a tubular support placed temporarily inside a blood vessel, canal or duct to aid healing or relieve an obstruction. In medicine, a stent is a metal or plastic tube inserted into the lumen of an anatomic vessel or duct to keep the passageway open.

According to Prof Janabi's testimony, a person with stents in his heart is prohibited to use cigarettes or narcotic drugs, as these could cause more health complications, notably obstruction of heart vessels.

He disclosed that Manji was admitted to the institute twice, once in February and subsequently in July, this year. Previously, he said, the businessman had been receiving treatment in the United States of America (USA).

He explained further that when Manji was admitted in February, this year, he was under police custody and medical examinations indicated that the stents fitted in his heart were operating properly.

Prof Janabi, a medical doctor and senior cardiologist, narrated further that the businessman was also found with other health complications, including back pains and failure to sleep well, but was having medicine as he had a prescription from Aga Khan Hospital.

In response to what the effects of a patient with stents using narcotic drugs were, Prof Janabi said the pacemakers could block and lead to more complications, possibly compelling the patient to undergo major operations.

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