Dar es Salaam. CHADEMA Secretary-General Mr John Mnyika said today, October 21, 2021, that all signs show that justice in the terrorism case that the party’s national chairperson Freeman Mbowe and three others face is not going to be served and that the only way to make sure justice prevails is for the prosecution to drop the case.
During a press conference at the party’s headquarters today, Mr Mnyika claimed that what has been happening at the court recently “shows clearly that the judgment on the case against Mr Mbowe and his co-accuseds has already been decided outside of the court premises.”
On Wednesday, Principal Judge Mustapha Siyani, who was presiding over the case, ruled against two objections brought forward by the defendants, before he withdrew from the case, citing additional responsibilities that would make him fail to finalize the case on time.
The first objection concerned the explanations of second accused in the case Adam Kasekwa that the defendants wanted the judge to rule that they were taken out of time. The second objection concerned the claim raised by the defendants that police tortured Mr Kasekwa to solicit explanation from him, and that he did not give them out on his own accord.
But judge Siyani ruled in favour of the prosecution, saying that the defendants did not provide enough evidence to back up their claims.
“With this ruling, the court gave the police a carte blanche to act as they wish in torturing the accused contrary to the laws of the country,” Mr Mnyika told reporters. “All these show that the judiciary is no longer independent.”
Because CHADEMA has lost faith in the judiciary that, no longer believing that justice to its national chairperson and his three other co-accuseds will be served, Mr Mnyika suggested that the government should drop all charges against Mr Mbowe and others and let the four free.
“The government should unconditionally remove the case [against Mr Mbowe and others] from the court,” Mr Mnyika said. “This is because this is a trumped-up case [and] it is politically motivated.”
Mr Mbowe was brought before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate Court for the first time on July 26, 2021, accused of taking part in conspiracies to blow up fueling stations and other public gatherings as well as funding terrorist acts before his case was transferred to the High Court.
He was arrested in Mwanza together with eleven other CHADEMA cadres — who have since been released — ahead of a New Constitution conference that BAVICHA had called and which Mr Mbowe was expected to be the guest of honour.
Others in the case No. 16/2021 are Halfan Hassan, Kasekwa and Mohamed Lingwenya.