Dar es Salaam. The case against freelance journalist Erick Kabendera was today, September 12, 2019 brought for mention, but was postponed until September 18, 2019, where the accused will be expected to come and brief the court on his health condition.
Court was also told that investigations into the case are yet to be completed.
Senior Kisutu Resident Magistrate Augustine Rwizile made the decision after Mr Kabendera, who has been in custody since July over his alleged involvement in money laundering and tax evasion, updated the court of his health.
“There was no [medical] equipment [at the prison’s infirmary] but they took my blood pressure and the condition calmed for a while after three injections they had on me,” said Mr Kabendera.
He added that the doctor asked him to do some exercises and said that he felt better for sometimes. “But for the past eight days I have been experiencing hip pain and my bone is intensively hurting,” said Mr Kabendera.
Mr Kabendera’s lawyer advocate Jebra Kambole asked Magistrate Rwizile to direct the Tanzania Prison Service to grant his client a chance to go and see a specialist so that he can be properly diagnosed.
“Our client is sick and can barely walk because his right leg was paralyzed and he cannot even breath appropriately at night,” said Mr Kambole, seeking the court’s intervention.
But State attorney Wankyo Simon told the court that the Prison Service has its own arrangement of according detainees with medical treatment and that the last time he checked with them they said Mr Kabendera was being attended to.
Mr Kabendera arrived at the court’s building today while walking with difficulties, visibly in pain and exhausted as he dragged his left leg.
Erick Kabendera faces charges of money laundering, tax evasion and involvement in organized crime.
According to prosecution, on diverse dates between January 2015 and July 2019 in Dar es Salaam, together with other persons, the accused knowingly facilitated a criminal racket.
The state further claims that the accused (in the second offence) failed to pay taxes amounting to Sh173.247 million that was payable to the Tanzania Revenue Authority.
In the third and final count, the journalist is accused of obtaining Sh173.247 million, while knowing that the said money was the proceeds of offences, namely: tax evasion and involvement in organized crime.
Additional reporting by Fortune Francis