13 December 2018

Tanzania: Lifetime Sentence for Mozambican Facing Drug Charges

THE Corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court yesterday sentenced a Mozambique national, Ana Moisie Chissano (36), to lifetime imprisonment after being found guilty of possessing 3.03 kilogrammes of cocaine.

Along with the conviction, the court ordered for the destruction of the narcotic drugs in a manner that is desirable. The verdict was delivered by Judge Lilian Mashaka in accordance to Section 15 (1) (b) of the Drug Control and Enforcement Act of 2015.

According to the judge, the law requires that for any person found in possession of narcotic drugs, upon conviction shall be liable to life imprisonment.

"Based on what the accused told the court and the requirements of the law on such offences, I therefore sentence you, Ana Moisie Chissano, to serve a life imprisonment for the crime you have committed and upon dissatisfaction of the verdict you have the right to appeal," she said.

Having heard from the testimonies of the witnesses, Judge Mashaka said the court has proved beyond reasonable doubts that Chissano was found possessing narcotic drugs.

She told the court that drugs was a huge problem which is affecting the society, which should therefore be prevented, saying that collaborative efforts are needed to overcome the problem by punishing all who are involved in narcotic drugs.

The prosecution did not have any previous criminal records but due to increasing incidents of crimes of the nature it contributes to the loss in manpower.

Based on that, the prosecution requested the court to grant heavy punishment as a way to deter such acts from further occurring.

Defence Attorney Hassan Ruwhanya pleaded with the court to provide a lenient punishment to the accused for she was a first offender and her family is depending on her for their survival.

"We request the court to consider our plea by granting the accused a lenient punishment, because since her arrest, she has been in remand for three years. This is a clear justification that the accused regrets her faults," he alleged.

The case was earlier on prosecuted by Senior State Attorney Paul Kadushi, Constantine Kakula and Baroda Mushi. It was alleged that the accused arrived in the country in November 16, 2016 through Julius Nyerere International Airport aboard Ethiopian Airline E 827 from Addis Adaba Ethiopia.

Mr Kadushi claimed that the police had obtained prior information of the accused before arriving at the airport aboard the flight. According to the prosecutor, when the accused was arrested and searched, her bag was found with an envelope which contained what was thought to be narcotic drugs.

He further alleged that after the Chief Government Chemist examined the drugs, it was confirmed that the envelope contained 3.03 Kilogrammes .

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