PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday made an impromptu visit to Mwanza-based Butimba prison and ordered fresh probes and retrial of all murder related cases in the region.
He instructed Mwanza Regional Police Commander (RPC) Jumanne Muliro to immediately form a team that will freshly investigate all murder related cases.
President Magufuli issued the order soon after listening to some remandees and prisoners who asked him to intervene to help them get justice.
One of the remandee lamented that he was arrested in 2017 with 16 cans of diesel, taken to Nyegezi police station and later to central police station in the lakeside city.
The suspected further alleged that the police officers asked him to give them a 1m/- bribe to secure his unconditional release but he failed to raise the money.
"I told them that I had only 200,000/- but they refused," he said, informing the Head of State that to his surprise, he was charged with murder along with other suspects whom he didn't even know.
"I was charged with murder and from that moment, I have been languishing in this prison," he said, explaining further that even the charge sheet does not state the area where the murder was committed and yet he remains locked in remand prison.
Earlier, one prisoner accused head of security at Butimba prison of favouring some prisoners while oppressing others. He alleged that some prisoners possess mobile phones but the officer does nothing against them.
"Some prisoners here own mobile phones contrary to regulations but this officer has been doing nothing to them.
At the same time, he is being too harsh to others, I ask you President to intervene in this matter and if possible, please take this officer with you," he explained.
Another remandee told the Head of State that he was arrested and charged with illegal possession of fake currency notes, declaring: "I don't even know how a fake note looks like but I have been in this prison for one and a half years now," he explained.
In response, President Magufuli ordered Mwanza RPC to launch fresh investigation to murder related cases, saying there are signs that many remandees were falsely linked to murder.
President Magufuli advised the RPC to bring in criminal investigators from other areas and replace those handling the cases now for the new team to perform its job without any influence.
He said: "My government does not like to see people jailed unjustifiably, we are doing everything in our capacity to ensure that justice prevails."
Prison Warden Staff Sergeant Jonas Mabula asked President Magufuli to support the prison with a car, metal detector and boat to ease their work.
Responding, Dr Magufuli promised to provide the prison with the car and detector.