Daktari Jumanne vs Republic (Criminal Appeal No. 602 of 2021) [2023] TZCA 18020 (28 December 2023)

Case summary

Daktari Jumanne was charged with one count of rape, as per Sections 130 (1) (e) and 131 (3) of the Penal Code, for having sexual intercourse with an eight-year-old child, a minor. Jumanne was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. He appealed, raising several grounds including the claim that the victim's evidence was received in contravention of section 127 (2) of the Evidence Act, and that the evidence of PW3 was not properly scrutinized to prove penetration.

The court upheld the principle that in sexual offences, the best evidence is that of the victim. The victim's testimony was considered crucial, as she categorically stated that Jumanne had sexual intercourse with her. The court rejected Jumanne's misapprehension of the evidence. The court referred to the cases of Denis Joseph @ Saa Moja v. Republic, and Adamu Angetile v. Republic, emphasizing that every witness is entitled to credence unless there are good reasons not to believe them. The court found the victim to be a credible witness, as her evidence was clear, consistent, and coherent. Jumanne's failure to cross-examine the victim was seen as acceptance of her testimony.

The court also noted that the victim identified Jumanne as her assailant to her mother and at the police station immediately after his arrest, which was seen as proof of the reliability of her evidence. The court referred to the case of Patrick s/o Omary @ Richard V. The Director of Public Prosecutions, emphasizing that a party who fails to cross-examine a witness is deemed to have accepted that piece of evidence.

The court agreed with the lower courts' findings that the victim was a truthful and credible witness. Jumanne did not provide any plausible reason to interfere with these findings. His claim that the case was instigated by a boy he had a quarrel with was dismissed, as the boy did not testify against him at the trial.

After reviewing the evidence, the court agreed with the lower courts that Jumanne was the culprit. The court found that the evidence was properly evaluated and that the prosecution's evidence raised no doubt against that of the defence. The court dismissed the appeal, concluding that the case against Jumanne had been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

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