Tanzania: Yanga Alias Battles 1052.63 Grams Narcotic Trafficking Case

THE nick name under which prominent businessman Yanga Omary Yanga is famously known in Tanga City on Thursday sparked a heated debate in court when he was giving his defence in the trial of trafficking 1052.63 grams of narcotic drugs against him.

It was State Attorney Constatine Kakula, for the prosecution, who fueled the debate after describing Yanga as "Rais wa Tanga," meaning "President of Tanga" when cross-examining him before Judge Imakulata Banzi at the High Court's Corruption and Economic Crime Division, Tanga Zone.

The businessman admitted that he is famously been known within the city and its environs and people have been identifying him through the nickname due to his generous, and not because of dealing in or distributing narcotic drugs as alleged by the prosecution.

Part of the cross-examination between the State Attorney and Yanga went as follows;

State Attorney: You are well known here (Tanga) as 'Rais wa Tanga'

Yanga: Yes, the people call me by such name.

State Attorney: Do you respond when they call you so?

Yanga: They (people) just call me so, even during some radio programmes.

State Attorney: Do you agree with me that they call you 'Rais wa Tanga' because of distributing narcotic drugs?

Yanga: I have not engaged myself in such a business and I will not do it.

State Attorney: What did you do to people, prompting them call you by that name?

Yanga: Because of being generous to them.

State Attorney: Are all generous people identified by such a name?

Yanga: We have so many presidents. Haven't you heard of a University president in Dar es Salaam?

Adducing his evidence in chief under the guidance of seasoned advocate Majura Magafu, the businessman told the court that he had genuine business that earned him enough income.

According to the accused, engaging in wholesale business of various items earned him about 1m/- as profit per day.

He said he started the business way back in 1986 and that he had been selling the products since then.

During cross-examination by prosecuting attorney, Principal State Attorney Faraja Nchimbi, however, Yanga could not produce any document to show that he was running such business.

The businessman was, nevertheless, quick to point out that such documents, including those relating to a loan amounting to 800m/- he secured from the CRDB Bank to run the business in question were taken by officers of the Drugs Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) when they searched his house.

In further cross-examination by Senior State Attorney Pius Hilla, for the prosecution, Yanga admitted possessing several properties, including houses, over 15 plots of land and cars, of which are suspected by the prosecution of been acquired through dubious means.

The businessman, however, told the court that among such plots were forest farms previously owned by their grandfathers, which were subsequently surveyed and later distributed to family members, including him.

Cross-examined by State Attorney Salim Msemo, the accused persons also admitted that when giving evidence, he could not tell the court that he saw one of DCEA officers entering with items that were found during a search in his house.

Apart from Yanga, other accused persons in the trial are his wife Rahma Juma and their house girl Halima Mohamed.

They are charged with trafficking 1052.63 grams of Heroin Hydrochloride, which are narcotic drugs on October 1, 2018 at Bombo area in Tanga City. Facts show that on October 1, 2018, while having information that Yanga was trafficking in narcotic drugs, the DCEA officers at midnight went at his house at Bombo area in the City to conduct a search.

During the exercise, the officers seized several items, notably one black pair of socks with a nylon plastic bag in it, a black plastic bag, a pink cloth bag with a nylon bag in it and black plastic bag with four different nylon plastic bag.

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