HIGH Court Judge Lameck Mlacha has convicted Respicius Patrick Mutazangira (51), a teacher at Kibeta primary school in Bukoba Municipal Council, of murdering a Standard Five pupil, and sentenced him to death by hanging.
He pronounced the sentence in a fully packed courtroom here yesterday, amid very tight security. Justice Mlacha however acquitted second accused Helieth Gerald (47), also a teacher, for lack of common intention to commit a murder offence, and set her free.
The two teachers were facing a murder case PI 56/2018 for the murder of Sperius Eradius (14), who was a Standard Five pupil at Kibeta primary school.
The offence was committed on August 27, last year.
Judge Mlacha noted that Mutazangira acted with malice aforethought by punishing the late Eradius using a piece of firewood and a compass, to force him to confess that he had stolen Helieth's wallet.
He also clarified that the evidence adduced by nine prosecution witnesses, including head prefects who testified as PW 4 and PW 6 were trustful and their evidence was collaborated by the evidence of a pathologist who examined the body of the deceased.
The pathologist, Dr Kahima Jackson, who testified as Public Witness (PW) 5 told the court that he examined the body which had multiple bruises, adding that the cause of death was "neurogenic" shock due to a blunt object.
Judge Mlacha noted that Mutazangira contravened the Education Circular regarding corporal punishment... he had no authority to punish the deceased and the punishment lasted for almost three hours.
"In such circumstances, the evidence by the nine prosecution witnesses was tight and showed that Mutazangira had malice aforethought to commit the murder offence.
Clearly, there was no other killer, but Mutazangira," he said. Judge Mlacha, however, acquitted second accused Helieth, noting that there was no direct evidence linking her to the cruel beatings that led to the death of Eradius.
Immediately after Justice Mlacha announced the death sentence, Mutazangira collapsed in the dock and prison officials had to carry him shoulder high to Bukoba prison.
The prosecution side was led by Principal State Attorney Hashim Ngole who was assisted by Senior State Attorney Hianico Mlekano, State Attorney Chema Maswi and State Attorney Juma Mahoma.
The defence team, on other side, was led by Advocates Aaron Kabunga (for second accused-Helieth), Projectus Mulokozi (for first accused-Mutazangira), Joseph Bilakwate (for Helieth) while Aneth Rwiza represented both accused.