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I was framed, sobbing Zombe tells court

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Bibie, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Bibie

    Bibie Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
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    Former Dar es Salaam Regional Crimes Officer Abdallah Zombe (55), shedding tears, told the High Court yesterday that President Jakaya Kikwete did not recommend his name to be among the 15 accused persons charged with the murder of three businessmen and a taxi driver.

    With tears streaming down his face, he told the court that some of his co-accused conspired with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to write letters which implicated him in the case six months after they were first formally charged.

    He also told the court that he was amazed that accused Rashid Lema was used by the media to implicate him in the offence so that he could not continue suing them for 1bn/- per media for defaming him.

    He made the allegations while giving his defense before Judge Salum Massati and alleged that he was not involved in the incident because at the time, as acting Regional Police Commander, he was busy in the presidential entourage from January 1 to 30, 2006 during which the president visited all the ministries immediately after he was sworn into office.

    Zombe was led in his defense by his lawyer Jerome Msemwa.

    Jerome: Are you aware of the charges you are facing?

    Zombe: Yes, murder of four people.
    Jerome: Is it true that you committed the offence?.
    Zombe: No, because I never knew them before and after they were killed.

    Jerome: Can you tell this court how you were arrested?.

    Zombe: I remember that I was arrested on 9 June 2006 on a Friday while I was in my office at Police Headquarters.

    I was called by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Said Ally Mwema who in the presence of two Commissioners of Police, Chagonja and Mtweve and told me that I was to be joined in the murder of four people.

    Jerome: Were you joined?
    Zombe: Chagonja told me that the DPP had sent them a letter ordering them to do so, which they gave me, written on 6 June 2006 with ref no.

    JC/180/3/DAR/1563 which said that after completing their investigations they were satisfied that the evidence they found implicated me in the offence.
    Jerome: Did you agree with the decision?.

    Zombe: No, because it was not true and I have indirect evidence that they had cooked the evidence using my co-accused who were then in Ukonga remand prison.

    (Tears streaming down his face) The accused Ahmed Makelle, Jane Andrew, Emmanuel Mabula, Corporal Abeneth wrote letters to the DPP three days before I was arrested.

    Jerome: Do you have the letters?
    Zombe: Yes, they were dated 3, June 2006.
    Jerome: Did the letters follow the required procedure from prison to reach the DPP?

    Zombe: No, they passed through `panya` routes.
    Jerome: In your understanding as a senior police officer, what procedure was required to pass the letters?.

    Zombe: Through the head of prisons.

    Jerome: You told the court that the letters made you appear in court today?.

    Zombe: I was acting Dar es Salaam Commander, and I filed a civil suit against six newspapers that had defamed me, suing each for 1bn/- and they are yet to start hearing.

    Jerome: So what is the connection?
    Zombe: Although I don`t have direct evidence, I believe that a lawyer wrote that I would use my co-accused statements as my testimony.

    Jerome: In this case, when did the deceased die?
    Zombe: On 14 January 2006 between 6.30pm and 7.00pm.

    Jerome: What was your designation?
    Zombe: I was the RCO and acting RPC.
    Jerome: As acting RPC did you have other special assignments?

    Zombe: I also escorted the presidential entourage in a pilot car, while he was visiting all the ministries from January 1 to 30, 2006, immediately after he was elected president.

    Jerome: While doing your special assignments, whom did you leave in charge of your office duties?.
    Zombe: Senior Superintend of Police (SSP) Mafia
    Jerome: And RCO`s office?.

    Zombe: SSP Ngasa who by then was sick, so all duties fell on SP Charles Mkumbo assisted by Duwan Nyanda.

    Jerome: Did they inform you of the incidents that were taking place?.

    Zombe: It depended on the time I returned to the office because at times the entourage ended at 6pm or 7, so I was not always informed.

    Jerome: As acting RPC what procedures did you follow since Dar es Salaam is divided into districts?.

    Zombe: It is divided into five districts and each is led by a senior police officer.
    Jerome: Whom do they answer to?.

    Zombe: According to Police General Orders they were under the RPC and at the time it was me.

    Jerome: What were you official duties at the time?.
    Zombe: All the police stations were under me.
    Jerome: Were you restricted from visiting them?.
    Zombe: No.

    Jerome: According to evidence tendered, you went to Urafiki on the material day, please explain?

    Zombe: Yes according to Judge Massato, I am required to explain what took me to the station on that day.

    On that day I had gone to pick my wife at TMJ hospital where she was being treated for stomach pains.

    While there, the Magomeni OCD called to inform me that there was a problem because Urafiki was on the way I decided to check out the problem before going back home.

    When I reached Urafiki, I found the Magomeni OCD with Bageni and Makelle and I was informed that the money recovered at the scene of the Bidco crime was 5m/- from 5,750,000/- but 1m/- was missing, so they wanted my help.

    I ordered that the money be found before morning because it was an exhibit and it was wrong for an exhibit to be lost under custody of senior police officers.

    Jerome: Was it found?
    Zombe: Yes the following day it was brought by Bageni who told me that it had fallen down under the car seat.

    So I ordered OC99 Tawete to call the media for briefing.

    Jerome: What procedures did you follow in doing so?.

    Zombe: Police General Orders 292 of communication to press and broadcasting.

    However before talking to the press I talked with my juniors about the then volatile situation in Dar es Salaam regarding robbery.

    Jerome: Did you talk about the Bidco incident?.
    Zombe: Yes and we were happy about the good work, the money was handed over to Oysterbay and later to Judge Kipenka`s Committee.

    Jerome: Did you ever ask about the deceased?.
    Zombe: Yes and I was told that their bodies were in the Muhimbili Mortuary.

    Jerome: Please tell us the procedure you followed to report your incidents?.

    Zombe: The incidents were reported to my office by junior officers and I in turn sent the report to the IGP who later sent the report to Ikulu.

    (Sobbing again) On January 2, 2006 I was appointed as Rukwa RPC but I was asked to act for Tibaigana (Dar RPC), but the Director of Criminal Investigations implicated me in the crime although President Kikwete did not name me.

    Jerome: The court was told that you refused to give your statement?.

    Zombe: No, I was informed that my statement was required so I wrote one.

    Jerome: The court was also informed that you were seen in Muhimbili while the deceased bodies were given their last respects.

    Zombe: Not true because one witness told the court that I had on my uniform while another said I was wearing a mask. It is not possible.

    Jerome: What about the allegations that you threatened relatives of the deceased when they came to your office?.

    Zombe: Not true I directed them accordingly, especially as they came with a note from Mwamunyange whom I respect a lot.

    Jerome: What about the statements issued by your co accused Rashid Lema and Rajabu Baraka?.

    Zombe: They were instructed on what to say and I cannot talk about something I have not seen especially as a witness informed this court that the letter is still with the accused.

    Jerome: What about the allegations that you rewarded the police after the incident? What do you have to say?

    Zombe: It is normally done in the police force to congratulate officers on a job well done, but I never promised to promote them because only the IGP can do so.

    Jerome: Did you know the deceased?.
    Zombe: I had never seen them dead or alive.
    Jerome: What do you tell this court regarding the offence you are charged with?.

    Zombe: To let the law take its course if I am guilty, but if not, then justice should be done.

    In the case defence lawyers are Majura Magafu, Gaudionus Ishengoma, Denis Msafiri and Longino Miovera.

    The accused in the case are Zombe, Christopher Bageni, Ahmed Makelle, Jane Andrew, Emmanuel Mabula, and Festus Chenge.

    Others are Corporal Michael, Corporal Abeneth, Corporal Rajabu and Rashid Lema.

    They are alleged that on January 14, 2006 at Pande forest in Mbezi Luis they killed Ephraim Chigumbi, Sabinus Chigumbi, Mathias Lukombe and Juma Ndugu.
    The case continues.