Tanzania: Second Judge Steps Down From Mbowe's Case

Freeman Mbowe, the chairman of Tanzanian opposition party Chadema.

Dar es Salaam — Principal Judge of the High Court, Mustapha Siyani, has stepped down from hearing Economic Sabotage case No. 16/2021 facing Chadema's chairman Freeman Mbowe and his co-accused.

He is the second judge to step down from hearing the case after Judge Elinaza Luvanda who withdrew on September 6, after the fourth accused, Mr Mbowe, told the court that he and his three co-defendants did not trust the Judge.

Judge Siyani announced his decision on Wednesday, October 20, saying the reason to withdraw from the case is due to the responsibilities he has that will make him unable to carry on with the case.

He was appointed Principal Judge of the High Court of Tanzania by President Samia Suluhu Hassan and sworn in October 11, 2021.

Judge Siyani replaced Dr Eliezer Feleshi who was appointed Attorney General (AG).

The first accused in the six charges is Halfan Bwire Hassan, second Adam Hassan Kasekwa, third is Mohamed Abdillahi Ling'wenya and the fourth Freeman Aikael Mbowe.

Defendants are represented by a panel of their 14 lawyers, led by Peter Kibatala while the government is represented by a panel of six State attorneys.

After announcing his decision Judge Siyani adjourned the case until when it will be assigned to another Judge and directed accused to be taken back to custody.

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