The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday set free three MPs on CCM ticket, Ahmed Saddiq (53), Kangi Lugola (54) and Victor Mwambalasa (63), who were charged with corrupt transaction.
Principal Resident Magistrate Respicious Mwijage discharged Saddiq, MP for Mvomero in Morogoro Region, Lugola, legislator for Mwibara in Mara Region and Mwambalasa, a lawmaker for Lupa in Mbeya Region, after receiving a nolle prosequi statement from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Senior State Attorney Mutaloemwa Kishenyi, for the prosecution, who was assisted by a prosecutor from the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Emmanuel Jacob, presented the certificate in question, saying the DPP has lost desire to prosecute the three MPs.
The three legislators were alleged to have solicited 30m/- from a District Executive Director (DED) to provide clear recommendations on accounts. But the DPP decided to withdraw the charge against them under section 91 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA).
However, the reading of such provision shows that the DPP was not prohibited to order the re-arrest of the same persons - under which such nolle prosequi certificate was entered - and charge them with the same offences containing the same facts.
Before giving the order to discharge the MPs, Advocate Mpale Mpoki requested the court to order the prosecution to supply him with statement of the person who had complained to initiate the trial, though the DPP has decided to discontinue the prosecution of his clients.
However, the magistrate declined to issue such order and directed the advocate to make own efforts to request the prosecution to supply him with the statement he wanted as the stage under which the case had reached, the court had no powers to order the DPP to comply with his request.
After being set free, Lugola, speaking on behalf of the others, said that they will consult their advocates to see the possibility of taking legal action following what he described as embarrassment occasioned to them by the PCCB through being implicated in the bribery scandal.
He pointed out that it was so sad to notice that they were widely publicised on the day they were arraigned in connection with the charge, only for the prosecution to later decide to withdraw the charges silently.
Being MPs and members of the Standing Parliamentary Local Authority Accounting Committee (LAAC), the trio allegedly solicited a sum of 30m/- from Mr Mbwana Soud Magotta, the Gairo District Executive Director (DED).
Such amount, according to the prosecution, was an inducement so that they could give clear recommendations on the accounts of the district council for the 2015/2016 financial year; a matter that was in relation to the affairs of their principal.
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