Dar es Salaam. Three students from Kampala International University (Kiu) are in court, facing counts of distributing pictures - through WhatsApp groups - showing President John Magufuli as wearing a hijab.
A hijab is a veil worn by some Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immediate family, which usually covers the head and chest.
A detective from the cybercrimes investigation department at the Police Headquarters in Dar es Salaam, Mr Anakreti Telesphory (32) told the Ilala District Court on Thursday, July 11, 2019 said that he interrogated the three students and they conceded to have disseminated the photos.
Mr Telesphory is the third witness from the prosecution side in Criminal Case Number 65 of 2016 in which Amenitha Konga (19), Mariam Tweve (20) and Agnes Gabriel (21) stand accused of distributing pictures mocking President Magufuli.
Advocate Alphonce Nachipyangu is defending the three students in the case.
Submitting his witness before Resident Magistrate Catherine Kihoja and State Attorney, Grace Lwila, Mr Telesphory said he was told by Inspector Beatrice on June 13, 2016 to go to Kiu where a student had posted the picture, showing President Magufuli as wearing a hijab, on a Human Resource Management WhatsApp group.
“When we went there, we met the dean of students, Mr Herman Frank. We told him why we were there and he agreed that the mentioned students were indeed studying at the university. He brought them before us,” he said.
He said after questioning Amenitha, she said she was aware of the said picture and that she had posted it on the Human Resource Management WhatsApp group.
“When asked where she got the photo, she said she got it from another WhatsApp group known as ‘Empire’ where it was posted by her colleague, Maria Twelve,” said Mr Telesphory.
When Maria was interrogated, she said she got the photo from Business Administration WhatsApp group after it was posted there by Agnes Gabriel.
Agnes was interrogated and she said she got the picture from St Mary's Ulete WhatsApp group but said she could not remember who actually posted it there.
The three students are charged alongside Anene Mwansasu (23).
They are jointly accused that on June 9, 2016, they published false information through computer technology while in Dar es Salaam.
The case was adjourned to July 22 and 23.