Tanzania: Court Irked By Unjust Use of Administrative Powers

Bukoba — BUKOBA Resident Magistrate Joseph Luambano has cautioned government officials entrusted with election powers to expedite the exercise with due diligence to avoid plunging the nation into political chaos.

Equally, he challenged organs entrusted with prosecution to ensure that competent and compellable witnesses appear in court.

He made the remarks on Monday while acquitting seven members of Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) members, including the former parliamentary candidate in Bukoba Urban constituency on Chadema ticket, Chifu Adonis Kalumuna (39).

Kalumuna contested the Bukoba Urban parliamentary seat on Chadema ticket but lost to CCM candidate, Stephen Byabato, who garnered 29,883 votes against Kalumuna who collected 16,673 votes.

Together with Kalumuna, who is also the former Bukoba Municipal Mayor, before Resident Magistrate Joseph Luambano were Islam Hanala (49), Antidius Mutajoa (46), Abdulmalik Audax (36), Jovitus Rwebangira (27), the Bukoba Urban Chadema Chairman Victor Sherejei (54) and Sosthenes Mutashoberwa (41).

Prosecuting, State Attorney Juma Mahona assisted by Shomari Haruna and Suzan Masule told the court during the hearing of Criminal Case No 257/2020 that on October 21, last year at the Kaitaba Stadium, the accused caused a breach of the peace, destroying several properties including a police patrol car with registration number PT 1835, a Toyota and another vehicle with registration number T9911 BRG, property of Ivan Joseph.

The prosecutors also alleged that the accused persons assaulted the Bukoba District Commanding Officer (OCD), Senior Superintendent (SSP) Babu Sanare.

When the charges were read to them, the accused pleaded not guilty. Reading the 35-page judgment that lasted for almost one and half hours, Magistrate Luambano noted that the Returning Officer for Bukoba Municipal Council, Maurice Limbe, acted with unjust use of administrative powers and failed to observe guidance issued by the National Election Commission (NEC).

He remarked that under Regulation Number 50 (4) of the Election Rules, all party agents and aspirants for Councilorship and Members of Parliament (MPs) were required to be sworn on October 21, 2020, seven days before the October 28th, 2020 General Election

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