Tanzania: Court Adjourns Delivering Malinzi Verdict

THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court has postponed to December 5, 2019 from delivering the judgment in the trial of former Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) senior officials.

Principal Resident Magistrate, Huruma Shaidi told the parties (prosecution and defence) that the trial Resident Magistrate, Maira Kasonde, who conducted the proceedings, has not completed preparing the judgment on the case involving the former TFF president Jamal Malinzi and other officials, who are facing several fraud counts.

"Under the circumstances, therefore, we have no option than adjourning this session to another date. I adjourn the case to December 5," the magistrate said.

Other accused persons into trial are ex-TFF Secretary General Mwesigwa Celestine, Accounts Officer Nsiande Mwanga and Flora Rauya, the Clerk with the Federation.

The trial magistrate is set to deliver the judgment after going through the evidence produced in court by prosecution and defence.

During the trial, the prosecution led by an officer with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Leonard Swai called 15 witnesses, while on the part of defence led by seasoned advocate, Richard Rweyongeza, only four accused persons gave their own evidence to disprove the charges.

While the prosecution summoned witnesses to produce evidence in attempt to connect the officials with the charged offences, the accused persons, through own testimonies, have disassociated themselves with the commission of the offences and, thus, sought for an acquittal.

Facts of the case show that TFF holds and operates six accounts at Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited and that Edgar Masoud, who was TFF Director of Finance and Accounting, was one of the signatories of such accounts.

With the view to change the signatory to such accounts, the prosecution told the court that on September 1, 2016, Celestine presented to the Bank, Center Branch a resolution dated June 5, 2016, purportedly made by TFF Executive Committee.

It is alleged that with such resolution, Masoud was replaced by Mwanga.

The prosecution alleged that such resolution was not an outcome of the Committee, but was forged by Malinzi and Celestine.

After Celestine had introduced Mwanga to the Bank as their newly appointed signatory, she was recognised as TFF signatory and was involved in signing cheques, payment vouchers and other payment documents.

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