Life behind bars for women traffickers

Thursday January 28 2016

Kenyan national Josephine Waithera (left) is

Kenyan national Josephine Waithera (left) is escorted out of the High Court in Moshi yesterday after she was jailed for life for drug trafficking. PHOTO | DANIEL MJEMA 

By Daniel Mjema @TheCitizenTz news@thecitizen.co.tz

Moshi. Two women from Nigeria and Kenya were yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of trafficking in drugs worth Sh289 million.

Justice Aishiel Sumari convicted Nigerian Vivian Edigin of trafficking in 797.56 grams of cocaine worth Sh39.8 million through Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).

The judge said the prosecution had proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused had 15 capsules filled with cocaine in her luggage, and had swallowed 48 others, which she later passed out.

In mitigation, Edigin said she carried the drugs because life had become too tough for her, adding that she had four children to look after. She later said she would appeal against the sentence.

Sentenced along Edigin was Kenyan Josephine Mumbi Waithera, who was arrested with 3,249.82 grammes of heroin with a street value of Sh146.2 million upon arriving at KIA from Vienna, Austria, on November 27, 2012.

Also sentenced to life imprisonment was Tanzanian Hamis Suya, who was found in possession of 3,191.3 grammes of heroin worth Sh143 million.

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Suya was seized with 249 pellets of heroin as he travelled by bus from Tanga to Arusha in November 2012.

The court acquitted Mr Mussa Mgonja and Mr Abdulaziz Makuka for lack of evidence.

Justice Sumari said drugs were a scourge that was destroying society, adding that no effort should be spared in fighting the menace.

He added that the sentences should serve as a deterrent to others.