Tanzania: DPP Drops Charges Against the 36 'Uamsho' Muslim Clerics

Dar es Salaam — Two leaders out of the 36 Muslim clerics famously known as the Uamsho Sheikh Farid Hadi Ahmed and Mselem Ali Mselem who were facing charges of terrorism have been released.

Sheikh Farid and his colleagues who had been behind bars since 2014 facing terrorism charges were released yesterday after the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), dropped charges against them.

Speaking to The Citizen today on June 16, 2021 DPP Sylvester Mwakitalu confirmed that he had dropped charges against all the 36 clerics and all that is left is a matter of procedure on how to release them .

"It's true they have been set free. I have dropped the all the charges against them, now the issue is now under the Prisons procedures but I have dropped all the charges," he said.

The accused were alleged to have committed terrorism against Terrorism Act section 27(c) of 2002, between January 2013 and June, 2014.

They were first arraigned at Kisutu Residential Magistrate court in Dar es Salaam, before being moved to the High Court for the hearing, where they faced with 25 charges.

On April 23, 2021 Supreme Court dropped 14 charges after agreeing with the arguments of their lawyers, Daimu Halfani, Juma Nassoro, Jeremiah Mtobesya and Abubakar Salum that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the charges as the alleged crimes were committed in Zanzibar.

High Court on the decision handed down by Judge Mustapha Ismail, after hearing arguments by both defense and the response from prosecution led by then DPP, Biswalo Mganga and Attorney General, Paul Kadushi agreed with defense's arguments.

Judge Ismail said all charges were allegedly committed in Zanzibar so the proper forum to prosecute the accused was The High Court of Zanzibar.

Judge Ismail therefore ordered prosecution to file an amendment indictment to remove the charges and leave those alleged committed in different areas including Tanzania Mainland which the court has the jurisdiction.

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