Tanzania: Court of Appeal Upholds Death Sentence On Albino Murderer

THE Court of Appeal has upheld the death sentence on Rorya resident and convicted murderer Lameck Bazir, who had challenged the Bukoba High Court verdict and death sentence.

The court had convicted and sentenced the 47-year old Mara resident to death over the murder of a person with albinism.

The appellate court ruled that the prosecution had proved the murder case beyond any reasonable doubt, adding that the watertight evidences adduced proved that there was no any other killer but the convict.

In the memorandum of appeal, the convict, through Bukoba-based Advocate Aaron Kabunga, argued that the prosecution side failed to establish the murder case beyond any reasonable doubt and the presiding Judge misdirected himself by relying on visual evidence.

He further argued before Justice Mbarouk Salum chaired Court of Appeal that the first witness, Evarist Andrew was unreliable. "Your honour, the discrepancies are irreconcilable. We ask this honourable court to quash the conviction, set aside the sentence and set the appellant free," Advocate Kabunga told the panel whose other members were Rehema Mkuye and Ferdinand Wambali.

Former Bukoba High Court Judge, Filimin Matogoro on October 27, 2016 convicted two people of murder of the person with albinism and sentenced them to death by hanging.

The convicts were Lameck Bazir and his father in-law, Pancras Minago (72), the resident of Rusabya village, in Biharamulo district. Minago died later while in remand prison.

Prosecuting, Senior State Attorney Athuman Matuma told the High Court during the hearing of the Criminal Case No 57/2015 that the two convicts, with two other people who were not in court, murdered the late Magdalena Andrea, and fled with several of her body parts. The offence was committed at around 7.30 pm on September 21, 2008.

Fraisca Felix (PW 10) told the court that on the material day at around 4pm the second accused, Minago, with two other people, arrived at her house and asked if Magdalena was present.

She informed them that she had gone to a nearby local market. Later, in the evening, she heard screams and rushed, hiding some seven paces from the scene where she clearly identified the two convicts who were attacking the deceased.

Evarist Andrea told the court that the first accused, Bazir, arrived at Rusabya village, posing as a traditional herbalist and told them. "Watu wa Biharamulo ni maskini, mnaachia dili (albino) atembee bila ulinzi...loosely translated as Biharamulo residents are poor yet you are letting a person with albinism to walk without bodyguards."

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