Dar es Salaam. Five men were on Friday September 18, sentenced to death after being convicted for the murder of a renowned constitutional lawyer and politician, Sengondo Mvungi, in November 2013.
High Court Judge Seif Kulita said 16 witnesses who testified in support of the prosecution case, together with 15 exhibits, have sufficiently proved the murder charge against the five men. However, the court acquitted Juma Kangungu, 34, saying the prosecution failed to prove the murder charge against him.
Those who were sentenced to death by hanging are Msigwa Matonya, 35; Mianda Mlewa - alias White - 45; Paulo Mdonondo, 35; Longishu Losindo, 34, and John Mayunga - alias Ngosha - 60 years old.
Dr Mvungi died in a South African hospital on November 12, 2013 after a nine-day battle with severe injuries he had sustained during a robbery at his Kibamba residence on November 3, 2013. Dr Mvungi - a member of the Constitutional Review Commission (CSR), and a 2005 presidential candidate on the opposition NCCR-Mageuzi ticket - was attacked in the wee hours of November 3, 2013 at his residence on the outskirts of Dar city.
A gang of six men raided his home and brutally attacked him before they made away with money, a laptop computer and a mobile phone.
He spent days at the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (Moi)’s Intensive Care Unit before being flown to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.
The five men who were condemned to death yesterday were among nine suspects who were arrested weeks after they were found with his mobile phone and machetes.
The death of Dr Mvungi - who had made his name by representing and defending the marginalized in court, and who diligently worked to ensure access to justice for all - shocked the legal fraternity and the nation at large.