Arusha. Five police officers will be among key witnesses in a hate message case facing the embattled Arusha Urban MP (Chadema) Godbless Lema.
The firebrand legislator appeared before the Arusha Resident Magistrate’s Court once again early yesterday under a tight security but was once again denied bail.
State Attorney Fortunatus Mhalila told the Senior Resident Magistrate Augustino Rwezile that investigations into the case have been completed and that police officers will give evidence on alleged spreading of hate messages by the lawmaker.
Those to appear before the court for the prosecution include regional crimes officer George Katabazi, Arusha District CID officer Damas Massawe, Police Inspector Adam Nyamiti, WP Esther Yohana and police officer in charge of cybercrime Ezekiel Kway. Mr Mhalila told the Court that Lema sent a message on Whatsapp between August 1 and 26, inciting the public to riot against authority on September 1, which the Opposition had termed “Defiance Day” to protest what it claimed as dictatorial tendencies in the country.
Mr Lema, who has been in remand prison since November 2, denied the charges. The case was adjourned to December 21 when prosecution the witnesses will give evidence. Mr Lema is defended by a Chadema lawyer John Mallya.
The Opposition politician is also facing another case with his wife Neema. The couple are alleged to have insulted Arusha Regional Commissioner Mrisho Gambo. The case has also been adjourned to December 21.
Mr Lema’s application for bail will be considered by the High Court today.