Tuesday, July 3, 2018

CCM official charged with spreading ‘fake news’


By The Citizen Reporter @TheCitizenTz news@tz.nationmedia.com

Tarime. A top CCM official in Tarime District was yesterday charged with spreading false information.

Mr Godfrey Francis, chairperson of the party’s youth wing in the district, appeared in court where he denied spreading false information on social media by claiming that prominent businessman Peter Zakaria had been kidnapped.

Public Prosecutor Kazeni Mrita told Resident Magistrate Veronica Mugendi that the accused committed the offence on July 1.

“On the material day, the accused, with malicious intent, claimed on various social media platforms that Mr Peter Zakaria had been kidnapped by unidentified people, something that he knew wasn’t true,” he said.

Mr Francis was released on bail after denying the charge. Mr Zakaria was arrested last Friday after allegedly shooting and wounding two intelligence officers in Tarime.

The incident reportedly took place at around 8am, and Tarime residents thronged the district hospital in the morning following reports that the businessman had been admitted with serious injuries. Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Mara Regional Commissioner Adam Malima said Mr Zakaria opened fire on two intelligence officers and wounded them, shortly after they arrived at a filling station belonging to the businessman to refuel their car.

“The officers had driven to the fuel station to refuel their car. Two of them alighted from the car, leaving their colleagues inside the vehicle. A few seconds later, shots rang out from where the two officers had gone,” he said.

Mr Malima added that the rest of the officers rushed to the assistance of their colleagues, and arrested Mr Zakaria, who was taken to Tarime Police Station, where he was being held until yesterday.

The wounded officers were taken to Musoma Regional Hospital for treatment.

Mr Malima said the officers were on “routine duty” at the time of the incident, adding that the motive for the shooting would be known when Mr Zakaria would appear in court.

He also dismissed reports circulating on social media that the businessman had been kidnapped.