Tanzania: Prosecution Begins Reviving Lissu's Criminal Cases

THE prosecution has started reviving all criminal cases the former Singida East Constituency's Member of Parliament (MP), Tundu Lissu is facing at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam.

In yesterday's court session, Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon, for the prosecution, asked Senior Resident Magistrate in Charge Godfrey Isaya to set a mention date on one of the cases Lissu is charged with.

Such case relates to abusing the President of the United Republic of Tanzania and showing disrespect to the court following his alleged conducts of issuing seditious words after attending two other cases he faces before the same court.

In the first case, the legislator is charged alongside three other accused persons with publishing seditious material in Mawio newspaper dated January 14, 2016, relating to re-run of elections in Zanzibar, while in the second case, Lissu is accused of uttering other seditious statements.

The magistrate granted the request and adjourned the trial to July 1, 2020, for mention, as Lissu is still at large. In the case, the prosecution accused the then MP of committing the offences on August 2, 2016, at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court.

It is alleged that with intent to bring into hatred to the citizen of the United Republic of Tanzania against the president, Lissu uttered seditious words, allegedly implicating him as a dictator.

The prosecution also charges the former lawmaker of uttering seditious words with reference to other two cases he is facing before the court that, "kesi na mashitaka yenyewe in ya kipuuzi puuzi na (... .)."

It is alleged further that, with intent of showing disrespect of the court regarding the other two cases he is facing, Lissu uttered words showing, "siwezi kufungwa... . kesi na mashitaka yenyewe ni ya kipuuzi ."

In the first case involving Mawio newspaper, Lissu is charged alongside two seasoned Journalists Simon Mkina and Jabir Yunus, as well as businessman and Printer, Ismail Mehbood.

Charges they are facing include conspiracy to publish a seditious publication, publishing and printing a seditious publication and printing a newspaper without submission of an affidavit. They are charged with an alternative count of intimidation to the charge of publishing seditious publication.

It is alleged that between January 12 and 14, 2016, at unknown place in the city, Yunus, Mkina and Lissu conspired together to publish a seditious publication. According to the prosecution, the publication bore tile "Machafuko yaja Zanzibar," in the newspaper namely Mawio dated January 14, 2016.

While in the other second sedition case, the opposition leader is also accused of abusing the head of state allegedly committed on June 28, 2016, at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Ilala District in the city, when he uttered some seditious words.

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