Court name
Court of Appeal of Tanzania

Francis Titus Mwacha vs Republic () [1990] TZCA 16 (02 August 1990);

Law report citations
1990 TLR 88 (TZCA)
Media neutral citation
[1990] TZCA 16

Kisanga, Ramadhani and Mnzavas, JJ.A.: This appeal arises from the sentence of 20 years' imprisonment passed on the appellant following his conviction on the charge of manslaughter to which he had pleaded guilty. C
The appellant who is over 50 years of age is the father of the deceased, a boy aged only about 7 years. On the day of the incident the appellant returned home and found the deceased absent. In addition he was informed that deceased did not attend school either. When the deceased eventually came home the appellant chastised him by D beating him using sticks, fists and kicks. The deceased tried to run away from the onslaught, but as he did so he fell on a stone and sustained a serious head injury which led to his death. The appellant tried to retrieve the life of the deceased by treating him and then taking him to hospital but in vain. E
In meting out the sentence, the learned High Court Judge observed that what the appellant did was far beyond what was expected of a father, and that the attack on a child of such tender age was most inhuman. But the appellant's F act of chastising the child for playing truancy is something which the society approves of. The only valid criticism is that in so chastising the deceased, the appellant over-reacted by acting violently, as evidenced by his use of fists and kicks. We think that such criticism could not be a sufficient basis for imposing such a stiff sentence of 20 years' G imprisonment, especially considering that the fists and kicks were not the direct and immediate cause of the fatal head injury.
Mr. M.K. Kimomogoro, the learned advocate for respondent Republic took the view that the sentence was manifestly excessive, and we entirely agree. On that account we feel justified to interfere. Accordingly the H appellant's prison sentence of 20 years' imprisonment is reduced to one of 3 years' imprisonment. The appeal is therefore allowed to this limited extent.
Appeal allowed. I