Dar es Salaam. The Kisutu Resident Magistrates’ Court has granted permission to travel abroad to two opposition lawmakers MP Halima Mdee and John Heche (Chadema).
The Kawe and Tarime Rural lawmakers respectively were permitted by the court on Thursday, December 06, 2018 when a case facing Chadema top brass leaders was brought for hearing.
However, the duo could not appear at the court today after the court was told that they had travelled to Bujumbura in Burundi for parliamentary sports tour involving East African legislators.
The two, alongside other party leaders including national chairman Freeman Mbowe have been charged at the court with 13 counts of sedition and mobilizing supporters to commit crime.
Ms Mdee’s referee, Mr Fares Robson, told the court she has travelled to Burundi to attend a sports event for the East Africa women legislatures.
Furthermore, Mr Robson said that the Clerk of the National Assembly wrote a letter to the Kisutu resident magistrate describing the travel plans and that the delegation would return on December 20.
The suspect’s lawyer, Mr Peter Kibatala, told the court that he was granted permission by the court to take care of his wife who had a minor surgery and that her condition was yet to stabilize.
The prosecution lawyer, Mr Faraja Nchimbi, said they had no objection against permitting the two legislators to travel abroad because they had already been served with a letter by the parliament requesting for their permission.
In his decision, Resident Magistrate Wilbard Mashauri approved the request, noting that the two were allowed to continue with official duties outside the country.
The case was adjourned until December 21, this year when it will come for hearing.
Apart from Ms Mdee, Mr Heche and Mr Mbowe, other accused persons are secretary general Dr Vincent Mashinji, Deputy Secretary General (Mainland) John Mnyika, Deputy Secretary General (Zanzibar) Salum Mwalimu and Iringa Rural legislator Peter Msigwa.
Others are the women (Bawacha) wing treasurer, Ms Esther Matiko and Bunda Urban lawmaker Ester Bulaya.
They are accused of committing crime on February 6, 2018, at Buibui Grounds in Kinondoni Municipality when addressing a public rally during the by-election campaign for the Kinondoni Constituency.