TANAPA lawyer, accomplices arraigned, charged with 11 counts

TANZANIA National Parks’ (TANAPA) lawyer yesterday appeared before Arusha Magistrates Court, charged with 11 counts, including economic sabotage, leading organised crime and money laundering.

The lawyer—Maneno Mbunda—and four others appeared before the court to answer charges that were allegedly committed between 2017 and 2019.

Before Resident Magistrate Niku Mwakatobe, Arusha District Magistrate Bernard Nganga, state attorney Fortunatus Muhalila, Nelson Kangero and Tumaini Mdee were charged alongside Mbunda.

They were all not allowed to enter any plea as the court lacks jurisdiction to preside over their case.

The prosecution, led by State Attorneys Javelin Rugahiruzwa, Shedrack Kimaro and Theophil Mutakyawa told the court that Mbunda, Nganga and Muhalila had between June 1, 2018 and April 15 this year demanded and received 31.5m/- bribe to facilitate the release of Nelson Kangero who had been detained over possession of government trophies worth over 100m/-.

The prosecution alleged that the trio committed the offence at their own capacities of public officials which was in violation of their official duties. “They did this to defeat the means of justice and continue to reap profit or other benefit,” submitted the state attorneys.

They further alleged that Kangero and Mdee are charged with leading an organised crime contrary to paragraph 4( 1)(d) of the First schedule to, and sections 57(1) and 60(2) of the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act(Cap 200 R.E 2002) as amended.

The court heard that the two, had between June 1, 2018 and April 15 this year committed corrupt transactions with a view of reaping profit.

Reading the third count, the prosecution alleged that between the aforementioned dates, did, through corrupt means give 31.5m/- to Mbunda, Nganga and Muhalila as an inducement to release and enable Kangero to be cleared off any criminal liability, defeating the end of justice.

The jam-packed court also heard that Mbunda, Nganga and Muhalila had corruptly obtained 31.5m/- from Kangero and Mdee as inducement to have Kangero released.

According to the prosecutors, such transactions are contrary to sections 15(1)(a) and (2) of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau Act, number 11 of 2007.

In the same vein, TANAPA lawyer, Arusha District Magistrate and the State Attorney were charged with offence of destruction of evidence.

The prosecution alleged that the trio, had between January 10, 2018 and April 26 this year, within Arusha city, willfully destroyed the court case file, with intent to prevent it from being used in evidence.

The three court officers were also charged with forgery. The court heard that the three, with intention to deceive, in respect of the Economic Crimes Case number 2 of 2018 in the Resident Magistrate’s court, purported to show that the value of the government trophies involved in the case was 9.8m/-, well knowing that it was untrue.

The five accused were remanded until April 20 when the case comes up for another mention.

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