Tanzania: Three Now Set Free in Opposition Chairman Freeman Mbowe Terrorism Case

Freeman Mbowe, the chairman of Tanzanian opposition party Chadema (file photo).

Dar es Salaam — The Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday freed three accused in the terrorism case that linked opposition Chadema chairperson Freeman Mbowe after the prosecution dropped its intention to continue with the case.

Justine Kaaya, Khalid Athuman and Gabriel Muhina were charged last November in an economic crime case No. 63/2020 with seven charges including attending terrorism planning sessions and leading a criminal gang with the aim of planning to blow up petrol stations in the country. The three were acquitted of their charges yesterday by Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba after the prosecution filed a statement of unwillingness to continue with the charges against the accused.

READ: Tanzania High Court overturns Mbowe's conviction

Senior State Attorney Ester Martin told the court that the case had been called for mention but the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had no intention of proceeding with the case.

Magistrate Simba said the court had acquitted the three accused setting them free.

The remaining defendants in the case include Halfan Hassan, Adam Kasekwa popularly known as Adamo, Mohamed Lingwenya and Chadema Chairman Freeman Mbowe who was joined in the case on Monday.

According to the charge sheet, the six were accused of leading a criminal gang between May and August 2020 at the Moshi-based Aishi Hotel in Kilimanjaro Region and in various parts of Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Arusha, where they committed the offense.

The prosecutor said they deliberately conspired to commit terrorist acts.

They are accused of setting up explosives and planning to blow up various fuel stations and public gatherings with the aim of undermining the political, constitutional, economic stability and reputation of the United Republic of Tanzania.

In the second case, on the same day and at the same time, all the accused allegedly participated in session that aimed at planning terrorist strategies.

In the third charge, Adam Kasekwa, is accused of possessing 3.18 grammes of heroine where on August 5, 2020, in Rau Madukani, Moshi District, Kilimanjaro Region, he was found with the illegal drugs.

Defendant Lingwenya, is also accused of possessing 1.06 grammes of heroine illegally.

In the fourth charge, the accused Kasekwa is charged illegal possession of a pistol.

In the sixth charge, defendant Kasekwa is alleged to have been found with explosives without a license.

In the seventh charge, Hassan is accused of illegal use of military uniforms, on August 10, 2020 in Temeke Municipality.

On Monday, Mr Mbowe, was arraigned and charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit terrorism and financing of terrorism in the economic sabotage case number 63/2020.

Mr Mbowe allegedly committed the crimes between May and August 2020, at the Aishi Hotel in Moshi.

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