Tanzania: Aveva, Nyange Abandon Plea Bargaining Agreement Mission

FORMER president of Simba SC, Evance Aveva and his Deputy Geoffrey Nyange, have abandoned their mission to enter into plea bargaining agreement with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), to dispose the 600m/-trial they are facing.

This was revealed at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, when the case came up for defence hearing.

During the hearing session, which was postponed to December 5, 2019, none of the parties (prosecution and defence) was ready to talk about the matter.

But there are claims that the two former Simba leaders changed their minds following a decision by Principal Resident Magistrate, Thomas Simba, who is hearing the case, to dismiss two money laundering charges they were facing on no case to answer or otherwise session.

Already, the prosecution has expressed its intention to appeal against the ruling.

In the yesterday session, Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon, for the prosecution, requested the court to supply them typed copy of proceedings and the ruling for appeal process.

One of the advocates, Benedict Ishabakaki, told the 'Daily News' after the court session that at some point in time his clients had written to the DPP to enter into the agreement, but they were now no longer thinking about the matter and were concentrating on preparing defence evidence against the charges.

In the case, the two former leaders are charged jointly with the former Chairman of the players' Registration Committee, Zacharia Hans Poppe.

On September 19, 2019, the court found all accused persons with case to answer on other fraud counts, but dismissed the two money laundering charges against Aveva and Nyange.

Magistrate Simba ruled that the prosecution, through ten witnesses made out a "prima facie" case sufficiently requiring Aveva, Nyange and Hans Poppe to give their defence evidence against eight counts.

However, the magistrate ruled, the prosecution failed to establish such a case for Aveva and Nyange to enter defence evidence against two money laundering charges.

After such ruling, the magistrate proceeded to grant bail to the duo on conditions of having two reliable sureties each with 30m/- bond.

Facts of the case show on March 12, 2016, the Club was paid 319,212 US dollars by Etoile Sportive Du Sahel, a sports club based in Tunisia.

Such amount was transfer fees of Emmanuel Okwi to the Tunisian club. The amount was credited in Simba SC bank account held at CRDB Bank Plc Azikiwe Branch where Aveva and Nyange were signatories.

Upon credit of the amount, on March 15, 2016, a sum of 300,000 US dollars was transferred to Aveva's personal account held at Barclays Bank.

Such transfer was made using transfer of fund request form dated March 15, 2016 which was submitted to CRDB Bank, Azikiwe Brach by Aveva. This form was signed by both Aveva and Nyange.

The payment details in the form were loan repayment. It stated by the prosecution that such transfer of money had no authorization from the Club Executive Committee and that Simba Sports Club has never borrowed the said money from Aveva.

Upon crediting the amount into Aveva's personal account, the money was withdrawn in cash in different lots by him. Out of the 300,000 US dollars, Aveva allegedly transferred 62,183 to Ninah Ghuanzhour Trading Company Limited as cost for purchasing artificial turf for the club's play ground at Bunju, Kinondoni Municipality in Dar es Salaam.

According to the prosecution, 50,000 US dollars was paid to the owner of Ranky Infrastructure and Engineering Limited as cost for the construction of the playing ground.

It is alleged that Hans Poppe had hired the company to carry out the construction. Notwithstanding use of some money for the purchase of the artificial turf and engagement of the company, the prosecution alleges that Aveva and Nyange could not account for 187,817 US dollars which was credited in the account of Aveva.

For the purpose of clearing the imported artificial turf from Dar es Salaam Port, the three accused persons made false invoice and it was submitted to the Tanzania Revenue Authority. Such invoice shows that the value of the artificial turf was 40,577 US dollars.

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