- On January 14, 2006 three gemstone dealers from Mahenge and their driver were brutally killed at Pande forests in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. The Citizen chronicles their arrest, murder and later trial of the men allegedly responsible for the crime that left the nation spellbound.
As the officers continued questioning the Mahenge trio after they were arrested in Sinza, former Kinondoni District Police Chief of Investigation, Superintendent of Police (SP) Christopher Bageni and his team arrive at Konoike area on Sam Nujoma Road where they found Bidco company car and its staff at the scene of crime.
SP Bageni questioned them and they identified themselves as employees of Bidco Company.
They claimed the thugs had robbed them of Sh5 million after threatening them with a pistol.
After the explanation, SP Bageni moved aside to make a call on his mobile phone to someone that his colleagues did not know.
Immediately, after Bageni had hanged up, a police car arrived at the scene with the three businessmen and their driver, all in handcuffs.
The Police car was followed by the car that Jongo and his friends were riding in, it was now being driven by Corporal Nyangelera, and they were followed ASP Makelle’s car from Urafiki Police Station.
ASP Makelle and Staff Sergeant James then briefed SP Bageni on the arrest of the four men who were found in possession of a pistol and Sh5 million cash.
The driver of the Bidco car then claimed that one of the four men was involved in the robbery but he seemed to be in doubt when interrogated further. His colleagues in the meantime remained silent.
The driver’s statement left Jongo and his friends in complete shock, they could not believe what was going on, they did not know anything about the robbery of the Bidco sales Truck, worse still they did not have anything to say to the officers to make them believe they were innocent.
After the briefing SP Bageni again for the second time moved to side to talk on phone to someone who seemed senior, his body language showed he was keen at following the instructions he was being given.
Shortly after, another police car, a Land Rover Defender TZR 9559 arrived at the scene; it was from Oysterbay Police Station with four officers who were Corporal Bernedict who was the driver of the car. Others were D/C John Maganya, D/C Abubakar and Corporal Jackson.
Shortly after, SP Bageni after he was done with what was rather a lengthy phone call ordered the Jongos to be dropped off from a University Police vehicle and loaded onto a Landrover Defender from Oysterbay. He also ordered the officers from University police station to board the Defender.
Further, he ordered Corporal Nyangelera to take the remaining two vehicles which included the taxi the Jongos were riding to Urafiki.
The car that Makelle was riding in soon left towards Ubungo.
After the vehicles left, SP Bageni moved aside again for the third time , spoke on the phone and after the conversation he returned and ordered all the officers to board the Land Rover from Oysterbay and headed towards Ubungo, turned right on Morogoro Road.
After about three Kilometers drive, SP Bageni and his team, entered a fuel station to refuel before they continued with their journey. None of the officers knew where they were going.
Their first stop was at Mbezi Luis Police Post where he ordered one of the uniformed officers to board their car and then left towards the old bus station.
At that point SP Bageni ordered the driver to pull over. He alighted and went on the side to speak on his phone again for the fourth time, this time the conversation was even lengthier.
While SP Bageni was on phone, Corporal Rajab had time to ask the officer they had picked at Mbezi Luis over where the journey was headed.
"Afande, where are we going?" asked Corporal Rajabu.
"We are going towards Makabe," answered the Mbezi officer.
“Is there anyone to arrest?” asked Corporal Rajabu again.
"I also don't know," Answered the officer from Mbezi.
After the lengthy telephone conversation SP Bageni continued standing in front of the Land Rover for almost 10 minutes. Soon another Land Rover defender pulled over on the other side of the Morogoro Road.
SP Bageni went over and returned almost immediately, he then asked the other officer for directions, after that he ordered the driver to set off.
They soon left the tarmac road and joined a rough road on the left, whereas the other Land Rover was following from the back.
Jongo not reachable on phone
Meanwhile Jongo’s driver- Ekonga, Vasco and the mechanic who repaired the car at Yamungu Mengi garage did not know anything about what happened to their customers.
They went to Kisarawe to test the car after repairing it. Vasco later tried unsuccessfully to call Jongo to let him know that the car’s repair was complete and they should come and get it but Jongo was not reachable.
They kept trying the car until they reached Chanika. It was at that point that Ngonyani phoned Vasco to inform him that the Jongos had been arrested by the Police.
They returned to the garage about 7pm. Ekonga decided to take the car to his home so that the next morning he could return it for 'paint work' again.