Abdallah Athumani vs Republic (Criminal Appeal No. 669 of 2020) [2023] TZCA 139 (23 March 2023)

Case summary

The judgment in the case of "Abdallah Athumani vs. Republic" from the Court of Appeal of Tanzania concerns an appeal against a conviction for incest. The appellant, Abdallah Athumani, was convicted for having prohibited sexual intercourse with his six-year-old daughter and sentenced to thirty years' imprisonment. The appeal challenged the conviction on several grounds, including the admissibility and reliability of evidence and procedural irregularities.

The court dismissed all grounds of appeal, upholding the conviction and sentence. The judgment also highlighted a significant point of law reform. It drew attention to the disproportionate nature of punishment under section 158 (1) (a) of the Penal Code, which prescribes a minimum penalty of thirty years' imprisonment for incest committed on a female person below eighteen years. The court suggested that this punishment is lenient compared to life imprisonment for similar offences under different sections of the Penal Code. The judgment thus calls for legislative reconsideration to address this disproportionality, particularly in cases of incest involving victims below ten years of age.

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