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A Good Question.

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Dingswayo, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. Dingswayo

    Dingswayo JF-Expert Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Joined: May 26, 2009
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    So, who killed them?

    By Guardian team

    18th August 2009

    The acquittal by the High Court yesterday of the former Dar es Salaam Regional Crimes Officer Abdallah Zombe and nine others placed back on police shoulders the burden of tracking the actual killers.

    Police are expected to reopen the investigation into those who murdered the three Mahenge businessmen - Ephraim Chigumbi, Sabinus Chigumbi and Mathias Lukombe and a Dar es Salaam taxi driver Juma Ndugu in 2006.
    The Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Robert Manumba told ‘The Guardian’ in an exclusive interview it’s time for whoever has an idea of who the suspected killers are to communicate with respective authorities.

    The DCI, who could not draw himself into giving details of fresh police investigation into the 2006’s killings, skipped the principle question: “Do you have any idea of who could have killed then?”
    Manumba declined to comment at length, suggesting that the police spokesperson (Abdallah Msika) would have been in a better position to talk about the matter.

    The new twist on the matter was brought to the fore by the High Court order yesterday through Judge Massati, for the police to search for the actual perpetuators and take them to court.

    In a separate interview, a lawyer with Legal and Human Rights Centre Harold Sungusia said he had not read the judgment, but according to the country’s constitution, it was the court which was vested with powers to rule whether one committed an offence.
    “But we as ordinary citizens have our own views and the court has its own way of viewing things after considering the evidence brought forward,” he said. However, he cautioned that people who were ignorant of the law would doubt the ruling and perceive justice to have not been done.
    He said however that people have to wait to see the measures that might be taken by the office of the Director of Public Prosecution. “These ensured that the law takes its course on the matter, so we have to wait for the DPP,” he said.

    Sungusia however said if the DPP office remains silent, people can through the Attorney General appeal.

    A University of Dar es Salaam law lecturer Dr Sengondo Mvungi called upon Tanzanians to get used to such judgments because they were being delivered according to the laws of land.
    “Many Tanzanians expected that the accused would be jailed, but their expectations were not based on law,” Mvungi said.
    Chairman of the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance, Judge (rtd) Amir Manento said according to judicial ethics, he could not comment on the judgment because it speaks for itself.
    On January 14, 2006 the four people were killed by police on suspicion of being bandits.

    On January 15, 2006 acting as Dar es Salaam Regional Police Commander then, Abdallah Zombe told a news conference the four suspects (three businessmen and a taxi driver) were killed by police in crossfire at Sinza.
    Zombe, who was then standing in for retired Commander, Alfred Tibaigana, said when the four were challenged to surrender, they shot at the police, prompting the police to retaliate with fire.

    Zombe said the police were then investigating a robbery that had taken place earlier in the day at Aljabir Jewellery shop on Mkunguni Street in the city in which the gangsters grabbed cash, firearms and other items.
    However it was later claimed, especially by close relatives of the deceased, that the suspects were killed by police at Pande Forest in Mbezi Luis.
    A presidential team carried out an inquest that concluded that the four were not bandits. Shortly after the revelation, Zombe and others were arrested and charged in court for murder.

    A police source acquainted with principles governing the Police Force explained to ‘The Guardian,’ yesterday’s acquittal was “automatic reinstatement” of Zombe and other officers to the services of the force.
    According to the source, the services of Zombe and other officers with three bars and above continued and a half salary was being paid to them even after their arrest in 2006 and during the hearing.
    But the low ranking policemen, the source stated, were summarily dismissed from services shortly after they were linked to the offence and charged in court.
    The policemen, said the source, would only get essential terminal benefits, mainly their social security contributions saved during their terms of service in the force before they were dismissed and charged in court.