TANZANIA’S HIGH Court in Dar es Salaam has acquitted a Member of Parliament, Peter Lijualikali,of Kiliombero in Morogoro Region from a six-month imprisonment for incitement.
Judge Ama Munisi ruled in favour of the 30-year old legislator on the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) after allowing two grounds of appeal, the convict had advanced to fault the findings of Kilombero District Court in Morogoro Region.
Kilombero Resident Magistrate Timothy Lyon convicted Lijualikali, the appellant, and his driver, Stephano Mgata (35), after being satisfied by evidence adduced by the prosecution.
But, in her judgment, Lady Justice Munisi agreed with submissions by advocate Tundu Lissu in defence of the lawmaker, that the offences under which the appellant was charged was not sufficiently proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt at a required standard in criminal trials.
“Under such circumstances, this appeal is allowed, the conviction of the appellant is hereby quashed and the sentence is set aside,” the judge declared.
Prosecuting, Inspector of Police Dotto Mgimbwa had told the trial court that the opposition MP and his co-convict committed the offence on March 1, last year, at Kibaoni area in Kilombero District Council’s meeting.
The prosecution had further claimed before the court that the two accused had created disturbances at the meeting against the provision of section 89 (b) of the Penal Code, Cap 16 - as amended in 2002.
The commission of offence, according to the prosecution, caused a breach of peace at the area. Delivering the judgment, the magistrate noted that the lawmaker had three other criminal cases and said he had no other option but to mete out the custodial sentence.
He named the cases as cases number 338 of 2014, number 220 of 2014 and number 340 of 2014.
The magistrate was of the opinion that having found the MP a habitual offender, it was appropriate to sentence him to six months in jail. The magistrate found that because the second accused was a first offender, the court gave him a suspended six month jail sentence, ordering him not to commit criminal offence within the period.