LEGAL technicalities yesterday marred the trial of Singida East Constituency’s Member of Parliament (MP) Tundu Lissu, who is charged with uttering seditious words, at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam.
Principal Resident Magistrate Dr Yohana Yongolo was set to start hearing the case, but the prosecution and defence engaged themselves on a legal technique relating to supply of a statement of a person who had complained to initiate the case.
While advocate Peter Kibatala, for the opposition MP wanted the statement for the Zonal Crime Officer (ZCO) be supplied to him, as what the law requires, Principal State Attorney Bernard Kongola, for the prosecution, strongly opposed to the request. Following such situation, the magistrate adjourned the matter to September 6, when he would deliver his ruling on the matter.
It all started when the trial attorney informed the court that they were ready for the hearing session and had came with two witnesses. However, advocate Kibatala requested to be supplied with the statement of the complainant first before commencement of the hearing to enable his client to guide his defence.
He submitted further that such statement was so crucial because it was the one that formed part of the facts of the case against Lissu. Nevertheless, trial attorney informed the court that the prosecution had no intention of calling the ZCO as among witnesses.
Under the law, he submitted, the prosecution was not obliged to supply a statement of the person who would not be called as witness during the trial.
In brief rejoinder, however, advocate Kibatala told the court that they would invoke the provisions of sections 142 (1) and 19 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act, to request the court to force the ZCO to give evidence in the trial.
According to the charges, Lissu is alleged to have committed the offence on June 28, this year, at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Ilala District in the city, when he uttered the claimed seditious words.
He is alleged to have said, Mamlaka ya serikali mbovu ya Kidikteta uchwara inahitaji kupingwa na kila Mtanzania kwa nguvu zote, huyu dikteta uchwara lazima apingwe kila sehemu, kama kuna uongozi na utawala wa kijinga nchi inaingia ndani ya giza.”
Technicality stymies Tundu Lissu case Reviewed by on 10:01:00 PM Rating: