Salim Mohamed @ Mndia vs Republic (Criminal Appeal No. 321 of 2021) [2023] TZCA 17616 (11 September 2023)

Case summary

This is a criminal appeal lodged by Salimu Mohamed @ Mndia against The Republic. The appellant was charged with three counts: Unlawful Possession of Government Trophies, Unlawful Hunting in Game Reserve, and Unlawful Entry in the Game Reserve, under sections 86 (I) (2) (c) (ii), 19 (1) (2) (a), and 15 (1) and (2) of the Wildlife Conservation Act, No. 5 of 2009 respectively.

The appellant was arrested in the Mkungunero Game Reserve with a bag containing fresh Zebra meat, weighing fifty kilograms. The meat was valued at USD 1200 equivalent to TZS 2,759,880.00. The appellant was convicted on all counts and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment on the first count, five years imprisonment for the second count, and one year in jail for the third count. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

The appellant appealed the decision, raising issues about procedural irregularities, the standard of proof in criminal cases, the evidence of visual identification, and the consideration of defence evidence. The Court of Appeal, however, found no merit in these complaints. The court held that the prosecution had proved the charges beyond reasonable doubt, the chain of custody of the seized meat was unbroken, and the evidence of visual identification was not an issue as the appellant was caught in the commission of the crime.

The court also found that the trial court had thoroughly considered the defence evidence. However, the court adjusted the appellant's sentences to run from the date he was first remanded in custody, instead of the date he was convicted and sentenced.

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