Drama as Lissu heads for the dock

HIGH tension yesterday surrounded the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam when Singida East Constituency’s Member of Parliament (MP), Tundu Lissu, was arraigned for the third time to answer three seditious and court contempt charges.

However, the prosecution attempt to block Lissu’s bail failed after the court dismissed grounds of objection. He was therefore granted bail on self bond that he will sign 10m/- bail bond

.The MP under Chadema ticket is accused of abusing President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr John Magufuli and showing disrespect to the court following his alleged conduct of issuing seditious words after attending his two other cases on Tuesday before the same court.

Armed with guns, clubs and other weapons, the police, both plain clothes detectives and others in uniform, beefed up security at the court premises starting early in the morning. They sealed all entrances and nobody, except a few persons were allowed to enter the compound.

Even those allowed to get into the court areas were subjected to heavy searching by the police officers. Several members from the opposition party, who wished to witness the arraignment of the outspoken lawmaker, were denied such access and ordered to leave the area without delay.

About five people believed to be members of Chadema were arrested and taken to Central Police Station for other legal measures when they attempted to defy the police directives.

However, several other top leaders from the opposition parties and MPs were allowed to witness Lissu’s arraignment.

They included Chadema’s National Chairman and leader of Opposition camp in Parliament, Freeman Mbowe; NCCRMageuzi National Chairman Francis Mbatia; MPs for Ubungo, Kawe and Ukonga, Saed Kubenea, Halima Mdee and Waitara Mwita, respectively.

Lissu was brought to the court premises to face the charges at around 3.00pm, but his arraignment to the dock in an open courtroom was delayed until 5.00pm, following a legal technicality raised by the prosecution on whether it was proper for advocate Peter Kibatala to represent him.

Initially, Principal Resident Magistrate Cyprian Mkeha, who is hearing the case, had directed the prosecution to read first the charges against the accused person and after he had entered plea, the prosecution could thereafter, raise their concern on the matter.

The two parties, prosecution and defence, had to conduct several consultations to reach a consensus on the matter, but no agreement was reached because it was maintained that advocate Kibatala would be among prosecution witnesses and could not at the same time defend the accused person.

It was at that point in time when the court decided that without reading the charges to the accused person, the court would have no any jurisdiction to entertain any concern.

Having received such guidance, the court decided to read the charges first to the accused person, though under protest.

Reading the charges, the prosecution led by Principal State Attorney Faraja Nchimbi, Senior State Attorney Mutalemwa Kishenyi and State Attorneys Paul Kadushi and Wankyo Simon, told the court that the MP committed the offences on August 2, this year, at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court.

It is alleged that with intent to bring into hatred to the citizen of the United Republic of Tanzania against the president, Lissu uttered seditious words saying, “Ukitaka kujua kuwa Magufuli ni dikteta uchwara ni pamoja na kauli zake.”

The prosecution told the court that on the same day and place, the legislator uttered seditious words with reference to the other two cases he is facing before the court that, “kesi na mashitaka yenyewe ni ya kipuuzi puuzi na kimagufuli magufuli.”

It is alleged further that on the same day and place, with intent of showing disrespect of the court regarding the other two cases he is facing, Lissu uttered words showing, “siwezi kufungwa…. kesi na mashitaka yenyewe ni ya kipuuzi puuzi na kimagufuli magufuli.”
Source:DailyNews
Drama as Lissu heads for the dock Drama as Lissu heads for the dock Reviewed by on 10:05:00 PM Rating: 5

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