PRESIDENT John Magufuli chats with a popular musician, Nguza Viking and his son Johnson Francis (third left), at the State House in Dar es Salaam, yesterday. The duo, who had been serving a life sentence, were among inmates who were pardoned by the Head of State during Independence Day celebrations in Dodoma in December, last year. Father and son went to Ikulu to thank Dr Magufuli for the humanitarian gesture. (Photo by State House)
PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday met with musician Nguza Viking and his son Papii Nguza who had paid a visit at the State House to thank him for pardoning them from the life sentence which they were serving.
The duo, who was exonerated during the 56th Independence Day anniversary on December 9, last year, was accompanied by other family members; Nguza Mbangu and Francis Nguza. According to a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communications yesterday, they thanked the Head of State for the forgiveness, promising to be law abiding citizens and working hard.
"I just don't know what to say, I am very glad for meeting Dr Magufuli to thank him for his for-giveness. I was praying for this moment. I am now ready to resume working," the musician is quoted by the statement as saying.
During his Independence Day address at Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, President Magufuli pardoned the two musicians in addition to 61 others who were on death row. Dr Magufuli explained that at least 1,828 prisoners were to be released on that material day and an additional 6,329 were to be set free at different intervals.
At State House yesterday, the musicians prayed for President Magufuli and the country as a whole, informing the Head of State that they were planning to resume their musical career. Dr Magufuli for his part told the family members to thank the Almighty God since He was the one who granted forgiveness.
"I was told you eagerly wanted to see me and I decided to grant your wish. You should thank God for the forgiveness and now you must get down to working hard," he stated. Mr Viking and his son, Mr Nguza, were sentenced to life imprisonment on June 25, 2004, after they were found guilty of raping and defiling Mashujaa Primary School pupils aged between six and ten years in Sinza area, Kinondoni District.
The offence was committed in 2003. The two musicians filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in 2013 asking the highest court to revisit their sentence, but in November, 2013 the judgment was upheld.
Meanwhile, President Magufuli yesterday signed a condolences book for the death of Assistant Commissioner of Police Mary Lugola, who was the wife of the Deputy Minister in the Vice-President's Office (Union Affairs and Environment), Mr Kangi Lugola.