By The Citizen
MPWAPWA: The Mpwapwa District Principal Magistrate’s Court in Dodoma Region has sentenced Pastor Sekandi Mkombola to 20 years in jail after finding him guilty of possessing government trophies and committing an economic sabotage crime.
The magistrate of the District Principal Magistrate’s Court, Ms Nurupudensia Nassary, issued the sentence last Thursday saying the court had been satisfied with evidence submitted before it.
Magistrate Nassary said following evidence produced before the court, the suspect has been convicted beyond reasonable doubt.
“After you have been found guilty, the court is sentencing you to 20 years jail. However, the door is open for appeal within 30 days for the side which is not satisfied by the ruling,” she said.
Mkombola, who is a pastor with the Anglican Church Tanzania, was arrested on October 26, last year in Mingui Village allegedly in possession of two elephant tusks worth Sh69.15 million.
Reading the charge sheet earlier, Police Public Prosecutor Wilson Mwita told the court that the suspect was charged with two counts of possessing government trophies and economic sabotage.
He demanded before the court that the suspect committed the offence contrary to Section 86 (i)(ii) of the Wildlife Conservation Act Cap 5 of 2009 and Article 14 (d) table 57 (1) of economic sabotage as revised in 2002. Mr Mwita prayed the court to issue stern punishment in order to server as a lesson to servants of God and general public that engage in such illegal dealings.
However, defence lawyer Sostenes Mseligwa asked the court to reduce the punishment to his client because it was the first time he committed the offence. Also, he said his client had a wife and children who depended on him and that he constituted the country’s human resource because he was still young.
Speaking after the judgement, Mr Mseligwa said he was planning to appeal in order to ensure justice takes its coursed for his client.