Sabaya now faces abuse of office charge

Friday September 10 2021
Sabaya pic

Former Hai District Commissioner, Lengai Ole Sabaya

Arusha. Former Hai District Commissioner Lengai Ole Sabaya is facing one more count as he battles with his economic sabotage case in court.

In June, Mr Sabaya, along withe five other persons, were brought before the Arusha Resident’s Magistrate Courtcharged with six counts of armed robbery, money laundering, economic sabotage, leading a criminal gang and corruption.

But, when the case came up yesterday, one more offence was raised against Mr Sabaya, requiring him to respond to a charge of abuse of power,  contrary to Section 31 of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act, as read withSection 60(2) of the Economic Sabotage Act.

Mr Sabaya and his bodyguard, Sylivester Nyengu (26) - a.k.a. Kicheche - and Daniel Mbura (38) are also said to have committed armed robbery on February 9, after handcuffing and beating Bakari Msangi who is the CCM Sombetini Ward councilor, and robbing him of Sh390,000.

Last month, the Arusha Resident Magistrate’s Court found that Mr Sabaya had a case to answer.

Senior Resident Magistrate Odira Amworo ruled that the evidence produced by 11 prosecution witnesses, led by Principal State Attorney Tumaini Kweka, established a prima facie case requiring the accused persons to give their defence testimony against the charges.

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In his defence, Mr Sabaya said the special operation he conducted on February 9, 2021 at the Shaahid Store was an order from the late President John Magufuli and that the-then Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, and Bank of Tanzania governor Prof Luoga were all aware.

When the case came up yesterday, the court was informed that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had authorised the Arusha Resident Magistrate’s Court to conduct the hearing.

The DPP’s office filed an affidavit which was submitted in the Court yesterday by Senior State Attorney Tarsila Gervas.

Earlier, Resident Magistrate Patricia Kisinda, Advocate Tarsila, told the court that the DPP had authorised the lower court to hear the case.

“The High Court has the jurisdiction to hear the case, but the DPP, under Section 12 (3) of the Economic Sabotage Act, has given authorisation for the case to be heard in this lower court,” he said.

After the court received the documents, the lawyer re-read the five charges against them which include leading a criminal gang, engaging in corruption, abuse of power and illegal embezzlement of Sh90 million, offences which the defendants denied committing.

Of the five offencses, Mr Sabaya alone faces three counts of conspiracy, conspiracy to commit corruption, and extortion of Sh90 million from Francis Mrosso and abuse of power when he was the DC for Hai.

Of the five offences, Mr Sabaya alone faces three counts of conspiracy, conspiracy to commit corruption,extortion of Sh90 million from Francis Mrosso and abuse of power when he was the DC for Hai.

The case has been adjourned until October 13, this year when the case will come up for preliminary hearing.