Court name
Court of Appeal of Tanzania

Mukami W/O Wankyo vs Republic () [1990] TZCA 8 (20 June 1990);

Law report citations
1990 TLR 46 (TZCA)
Media neutral citation
[1990] TZCA 8

G Nyalali, C.J., Makame and Ramadhani, JJ.A.: The appellant Mukami Wankyo was charged in the High Court on circuit at Musoma with the offence of murder c/s 196 of the Penal Code, was convicted as charged and sentenced to suffer death by hanging. She was aggrieved by the conviction and sentence hence this appeal to this H court. Before us the Republic was represented by Mr. Malamsha, learned State Attorney. Mr. Butambala learned advocate, representing the appellant filed a memorandum of appeal containing one ground of appeal stating:
That the case against the appellant was not proved beyond reasonable doubt as the evidence relief upon by the trial I judge to convict the appellant was not watertight.

From the proceedings both in this court and the court below, the following matters of fact are not in dispute A between the parties. It is common ground that at the material time the appellant was one of the many wives of one Wankyo s/o Mkirya. On or about 11th July, 1986 the said Wankyo s/o Mkirya died inside the house of the appellant in Magunga Village, Musoma district. Subsequently the appellant was apprehended and taken to B Buhemba Police Station, where she made a statement to a police officer, that is, no. C 193 D/Cpl. Joseph (PW.1) in which she confessed to poisoning her husband by putting poison in the tea which she prepared for him that day, apparently because of his persistent cruelty towards her. Thereafter the appellant was taken to a Resident C Magistrate, that is, Mrs. C.K. Kalombola (PW.2) to who she made a similar confession. Furthermore, it is undisputed that on the 14th July 1986 a postmortem examination on the body of the deceased was performed by a doctor, who came to the conclusion that the death of the deceased was due to poison. This doctor took some D internal organs which he sent to the Government Chemist for further expert chemical analysis and report. It is undisputed that the Chief Government Chemist's report, made in consequence thereof, shows that the pieces of liver and kidney, as well as the intestinal excreta taken from the deceased, contained some alkaloids and organ sulphur, Ewhich are known to be fatal to human beings, when taken in large quantities.
From the same proceedings in this court and the court below, the following matters of fact appear to be in dispute between the parties. It is the prosecution's case that the appellant voluntarily confessed to PW. 1 and PW.2 to the F effect that she had put poison in the tea which she had prepared for her husband on the material day in order to kill him and thereby end her ordeal of cruelty perpetrated to her by her husband. On the other hand, the case for the defence consists of a general denial of the prosecution case and an assertion that the deceased began feeling unwell when he returned to the appellant's house from a visit to the house of one of his sons by another wife. It is part of G the defence case that after the death of the deceased, the appellant was beaten up, initially by the sons of the deceased, and later by the police at Buhemba Police Station . It is part of the defence case that as a result of these beatings by the police, she confessed to PW.1 and PW.2. H
The first important issue for consideration and decision in this case is whether the confessions made by the appellant to PW. 1 and PW.2 were voluntary. The trial court came to an affirmative answer after a trial within a trial was conducted in respect of each of the confessions. We concur with the conclusion of the learned trial judge on this I point. In her evidence in chief given during the trails within the trial, the appellant

A asserted that she was beaten up by PW.1 and another son of the deceased, that is, Mr. Sukuti, to induce her to confess. We note however that when PW. 1 gave evidence in one of the trials within the trial, no suggestion to the effect was put to him under cross-examination by the defence. We think it is unlikely that PW. 1 would not have B been cross-examined by the defence specifically on the point, if really he and Mr. Sukuti were involved in beating up the appellant. Furthermore, if the appellant had really been beaten up by the police at Buhemba to induce her to confess, she would have mentioned that fact to the Resident Magistrate, that is PW.2, when confessing to her in the C Magistrate's court chambers. The suggestion made to PW.2 under cross-examination to the effect that a confession, was denied by PW.2 appears to be candid. This is illustrated by her record of what she saw when she examined the body of the appellant. She records to have seen bruises on the leg and fingers of the appellant. These D bruises were however old.
The second issue for consideration and decision in this case is whether the appellant poisoned the deceased. The three wise assessors and the learned trial judge accepted the two confessions as true, and came to an affirmative E conclusion on the issue. In coming to this conclusion, the trial court however did not specifically consider the apparent contradictions between certain parts of the two confessions. Such contradictions concern inter alia, the source of the poison, and her normal residence prior to this incident. In her statement to PW. 1 she claims to have F been living in separation from the deceased for twelve years in Kenya, and claims to have brought the poison with her from Kenya. However in her statement to PW.2, the appellant seems to suggest that she lived with her husband and obtained the poison from a witch doctor in Tarime.
G We have considered these contradictions but we are satisfied that they do not affect the central story of the confession, which concerns the administration of the poison to the deceased through tea prepared by the appellant for the deceased. These contradictions can therefore be severed from the central story within the scope stated in the case of Siduwa Were v Uganda, [1964] E.A. p.596. Moreover, the central story is confirmed by the findings of H the Chief Government Chemist concerning the remains of the internal organs taken from the body of the deceased. Thus fortified we are satisfied that the remaining central story in the confession contain nothing but the I truth, and can safely be relied upon to convict the appellant in keeping with the rule stated in the

case of Tuwamoi v Uganda [1967] E.A. p. 84. Having come to that conclusion, it follows that the appeal must fail A in its entirety.
In the final analysis therefore we dismiss this appeal in its entirety.
Appeal dismissed. B