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Seventeen witnesses to testify against Mramba and Yona

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Sheria (The Law Forum)' started by MziziMkavu, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Sep 22, 2009
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    Seventeen witnesses to testify against Mramba and Yona [​IMG] Former Minister for Finance, Basil Mramba and former Minister for Energy and Minerals, Daniel Yona in one of the earlier court proceedings of their abuse of office case.

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    BETTY BHOKE, 22ndSeptember 2009 @ 10:30

    SEVENTEEN witnesses will be called to testify against the former Minister for Finance, Basil Mramba and former Minister for Energy and Minerals, Daniel Yona and the then Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, Gray Mgonja, who are accused of abuse of office and occasioning losses to the government amounting to 11bn/-.

    Principal State Attorney, Boniface Stanslaus, told a panel comprising Principal Resident Magistrates John Utamwa, Saul Kinemela and Sam Rumanyika, that the prosecution had lined up some 17 witnesses, all from Prevention and Combating Corruption Bureau (PCCB), to testify in the case.

    The defence team, led by advocate Herbert Nyange, raised a strong debate with the prosecution, when they were told to reveal to the court the number of witnesses who would testify during the case.

    The advocate argued that according to Section 230 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), it was not the right time to reveal the number of witnesses and that they would do so, if only the prosecution had finished testifying in the case and the court -- in it’s judgment -- finds the accused having a case to answer.

    He further said that according to Section 231 (1) (a), they would give the number if the court had sworn the accused to testify and Section 231 (4) -- if only the accused admits to have witnesses in the case.
    The prosecution made the submission, basing on a Circular Number 2 by the Chief Justice of 1999. However, the defence insisted that they had never read the circular, which forced the court to adjourn the case to today, so that the defence could go over it and come up with a firm argument on the submission.

    In the previous court session, when responding to the memorandum of facts, Yona and Mramba confessed to have ignored expert recommendations, regarding controversial mining tenders and that Mr Godwin Nyelo, a geologist and Acting Head of Legal and Fiscal Affairs in the ministry, advised them not to hire Alex Stewart (Assayers), arguing that the firm had violated tendering procedures.

    Mramba also admitted to have instructed the former Governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Dr Daudi Balali and Mr Erwin Flores, who was an executive vice-president of Alex Stewart (Assayers) to sign the agreement.

    Mramba also admitted to have failed to take up the matter for cabinet’s deliberations, so that a supplementary budget could be proposed to the parliament and instead, asked Mgonja to advise him on how he could grant tax exemption, which was requested by Alex Stewarts (Assayers).

    On September 5, 2003 the ministry of energy and minerals wrote the ministry of finance, requesting for tax exemption on behalf of Alex Stewarts (Assayers) and Mgonja advised the first accused to issue government notice, exempting taxes in favour of the said company.