Republic vs Stephen Mweji & Lugangiza Ndaro [1984] TZHC 17 (9 June 1984)


Katiti, J.: Before Ukerewe District Court were Magobe Maila & Munyaga Mapesa B and Stephen s/o Mweji & Lugangiza Ndaro, accused and charged with two counts of corrupt transactions c/s 3(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act No. 16 of 1971. The end of the trial witnessed the 2nd accused being sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment on each count after conviction, with an order that the sentences run concurrently.
On scrutiny of the file, several aspects that demand correctional comment have emerged. C The first aspect that needs comment is the charge itself. Although the charge shows that Magobe Maila Munyaga Mapesa was the accused person, it is only the particulars of the offences charged that reveal that Stephen Mweji Lugangiza Ndaro was another D accused person. It is clear therefore that both accuseds were each facing the same charges of corrupt transactions c/s 3(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act No. 16 of 1971, but not put or placed in the charge sheet in the consecutive and sequential manner. The procedure as adopted is a wrong one, for it is the procedure and requirement of the E law that, where more than one accuseds are jointly charged, their names and addresses should be contained in the charge in clear form. And where and when such persons join in the commission of an offence, all or any of them may be jointly charged with it, or even such accused persons may be charged separately, but where they are F jointly charged, they must be numbered consecutively and sequentially.
The other aspect that demands or demanded a corrective touch, is the fact that the charges falling under section 3(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act of 1971 as they G do, omitted to aver the principal and agent's business or affairs relationship. It is the law that where the charge falls under section 3 of the Corruption Act 1971 such charge should point out the relationship, that the person charged corruptly gave the money or advantage or consideration to the agent or the agent received the same for doing or forbearing to do anything in relation to the agent's principal's affairs of business. The case H of Mwita v Republic [1971] H.C.D. No. 304 is an authority in this direction. The Magistrate therefore is reminded that he should always check the charge to see whether the ingredients of such charge are incorporated in the same charge.
The question now is whether this omission prejudiced the accuseds to the extent of I miscarriage of justice. I have a mind to

answer this question in the negative. I have the following reasons. It is clear that the A accuseds knew that they were corruptly giving money to P.W.1, a person employed in public service. They clearly knew that this money was meant to be an inducement to P.W.1, to deviate from known normal procedure, to allow them to pass through a short-cut. It does therefore appear to me that all along the accuseds had no mistaken B ideas as to what they were doing, and I am therefore satisfied that they were telling P.W.1 through corruption to perform his duty contrary to established office norms. I therefore hold the view that the omission of averment of principal-agent relationship in the particulars of the offence, did not prejudice the accuseds, as the accuseds knew that C the business or affairs that they were urging P.W.1 to perform with infidelity as a result of corruption was actually Government Business, the government being the Principal of P.W.1. I therefore fail to see how they could feel prejudiced.
The other aspect that attracted our attention is the sentence that the trial magistrate D imposed upon the 2nd accused person. The 1st Accused died before the trial ended. As I earlier pointed out, the 2nd accused was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment on each count, for offences that fall under section 3(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act No.16 of 1971. With due respect, I think the trial magistrate went contrary to the law, E for under section 4 (a) and para 9 of the first Schedule to the Minimum Sentences Act 1972, the offence of taking part in a corrupt transaction contrary to section 3 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1971, attracts the statutory minimum sentence for the F same offences, of three years' imprisonment. Under the Minimum Sentences Act, under no circumstances should an accused person convicted under section 3 and 6 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, be awarded an imprisonment sentence of less than three years. It is therefore clear that the sentence of 12 months' imprisonment that the trial G magistrate imposed is an illegal one. I therefore set aside this illegal sentence, and impose three years' imprisonment. It is therefore ordered that the legal process be initiated to have the accused serve the sentence imposed according to law.
And finally there is an aspect of forfeiture. The trial magistrate ordered that Shs. 100/=, H that was involved in the two offences be forfeited to the Republic. It is a requirement of case law in this country, that where a trial magistrate orders forfeiture of property, he must show the legal authority under which he is acting. In this case the magistrate did not I show under what statute he was ordering the forfeiture of 100/=. I shall therefore try and see what law the

magistrate was applying, if any. I have gone through the Minimum Sentences Act 1972, A and I am satisfied that  though the same statute provides for compensation, it makes no mention of forfeiture. Coming to the Prevention of Corruption Act No. 16 of 1971, section 3(3) of the same Act seems to be relevant. It provides that where a person convicted is an agent, the court may, in addition to sentence, order him to pay his principal the amount or value of an advantage received by him, and whether such B convicted person is an agent or not, the court may order that the amount, or value of advantage received by him, or any part thereof be forfeited. But it is not provided that the money, or consideration, or property corruptly given, but not corruptly received by a C person convicted of an offence under section 3 be forfeited. In this case the person convicted did not corruptly receive the amount in question. It is therefore clear that the forfeiture order that was made by the trial magistrate in this case had no basis in law. The Dabove is said not without an impeccable moral impression that refunding corruption money to the corrupter is like giving back the murder weapons to the murderer. I should have imagined that it would be consistent with the obvious severity of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 1971, to order forfeiture of any money, advantage or consideration E involved in a corrupt transaction, without regard as to whether the person convicted is the receiver or not. All the same, the forfeiture order is hereby set aside.
Order accordingly.


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