18 April 2019

Tanzania: Court Confirms Death Sentence for 4 People

THE Court of Appeal has confirmed the death by hanging sentence imposed on witchdoctor Paschal Mashiku and three others, for killing a male person with albinism in order to get 200m/= upon selling his body parts to some buyers.

Justices Mbarouk Mbarouk, Richard Mziray and Jacobs Mwambegele ruled against the appellants, Mshiku, Chacha Murimi, Methew Daud and Alex Joseph, alias Bugwem, after dismissing the appeal they had lodged to oppose the High Court's findings on the matter.

"We do not find any basis for which to fault the findings of the trial court on all substantive matters considered therein. The appeal is patently wanting in merit.

Accordingly, it is dismissed in its entirety," they declared in their judgment delivered in Mwanza City recently.

During hearing of the appeal, the appellants had alleged, among others, that the certificate of seizure had problems as it was not procured according to law and the prosecution failed to establish chain of custody of the exhibit submitted to the Chief Government Chemist and later tendered in court.

In their judgment, however, the justices noted that the trial judge subjected the evidence given by prosecution witnesses to a critical evaluation and came to conclusion that there was a careful handling of the exhibits from the time of their seizure to the government chemist for analysis and later to court.

"There is nothing to suggest that in between (the exhibit, which is a bone of a human being) were intercepted and tampered with. As such, therefore, this ground of appeal must fail," they ruled.

As to the question of certificate of seizure, the justices agreed with the prosecution's submissions that since the same was prepared and signed at the place where the exhibit was seized, then failure to indicate the time as to when the exhibit was seized was not fatal as it did not prejudice the appellants.

"As rightly submitted, the omission did not remove the truth that Murimi, Daud and Joseph were arrested in possession of a bone of a human being at the scene of the crime which was later diagnosed to be the deceased body," they said.

Facts show that on June 26, 2009 at Ibanda Village within Nyamagana District in the city and region of Mwanza, the appellants jointly and together murdered Aron Nongo, a person with albinism.

On the material day, the deceased with his wife, having had their dinner, retired to sleep. Shortly, they heard dogs barking outside. The deceased suspected that something was wrong.

He took a stick and went to the sitting room to see what was happening. While there, the door was forcefully opened by some people using a big stone commonly known as Fatuma.

Five men armed with machetes and axes stormed in. They got hold of the deceased and dragged him outside the house. The wife remained inside watching the incidence through a meshed window.

She saw three of the killers mercilessly cutting her husband with machetes.

The wife reported the incidence to the police, who commenced investigation immediately thereafter. While investigation was in progress, on July 17, 2009, the police got information that there were people selling human body parts of a person with albinism.

A trap was set under which one police officer pretended to be a dealer and buyer.

On July 18, 2009 he met Murini and Daud and upon bargaining, the two agreed to sell the body parts at 200m/-.

They also agreed to seal the deal on July 19, 2009 at Kijereshi in Igoma area.

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