Tanzania: Wema Drug Case Goes 'Prima Facie'

Wema Sepetu.

THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday found Actress Wema Sepetu and her two house girls with case to answer on two counts related to drugs abuse.

Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba ruled that the prosecution has established a "prima facie" case against the trio sufficiently requiring them to give their defence evidence against the charges.

During hearing of the case, the prosecution, led by State Attorney Constantine Kakula, called five witnesses in attempt to prove that the accused persons committed the offences they are facing. Following the court's ruling, the magistrate ordered Wema, who is also former Miss Tanzania, and two house girls, Angelina Msigwa and Matrida Abas, to start presenting their defence testimony on May 14.

In criminal proceedings, when an accused is found with case to answer, the court calls him or her to give defence evidence to disprove the prosecution's established "prima facie" case against him or her. Prima facie means "sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted.

" It is also termed as prima facie evidence; establishment of a legally required rebuttable presumption. In the trial, the prosecution alleges that the accused persons committed the offence on February 2, 2017, at their residential house at Kunduchi-Ununio in Kinondoni District.

On the material day and the areas, jointly and together, the trio was allegedly found in illegal possession of one roll and two small pieces of cannabis sativa, commonly known as bhang weighing 1.08 grams.

The former Miss Tanzania and her co-accused persons were arraigned for the first time to answer the charge on February 22, 2017. Sepetu is among people mentioned by the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda to have been dealing in one way or another with narcotic drugs.

She was required to report to the Central Police for questioning before her arraignment after the police investigation established tangible evidence to warrant her prosecution in the criminal trial. Witnesses who testified for the prosecution before winding up its case include a senior official with Chief Government Chemistry office, Elias Mlima, who examined Wema's urine.

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