14 days to determine whether Lissu has case to answer or not

Monday September 4 2017


By Hadija Jumanne TheCitizenTz Hjumanne@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court has given 14 days to the Prosecution and the Defense to present their arguments in a sedition case facing Tundu Lissu.

Mr Lissu, who is the Opposition Chief Whip in Parliament, the president of the Tanganyika Law Society and the Chadema’s Chief Lawyer, is accused of uttering a seditious statements against the government of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Resident Magistrate, Godfrey Mwambapa gave the two sides 14 days today, September 4, 2017, after they started engaging in legal wrangles.

The prosecution, led by the senior state attorney, Mr Mutalemwa Kishenyi, alleged that they had finished cross examination after bringing five witnesses.

"Honourable Magistrate, we, as the prosecution, have no more witnesses. So, we have closed our evidence," Mr Kishenyi said.

However, Mr Lissu, who represented himself in court yesterday after his lawyer, Mr Peter Kibatala, was obliged to attend another case at the High Court, said he had no case to answer as the evidence given against him was weak.

The following is the dialogue between Mr Kishenyi and Mr Lissu:

Mr Kishenyi: I don’t think there is a law that gives a chance to the accused to exonerate himself or herself simply on ground that he or she has no case to answer.

Mr Lissu: The state attorney is wrong. Section 230 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) offers a chance of asking whether there is a case to answer or not. So, I am asking to be given the right to be listened to because the evidence presented by the prosecution is weak and shows that there is no case to answer.

Mr Kishenyi: I still insist that there is no law that offers that kind of right.

Magistrate Mwambapa said he agreed with the prosecution’s arguments that there was no law that offered a chance to the accused person to say whether he had a case to answer or not, except that there were sections that allowed the accused person to tell the court about anything.