Court name
Court of Appeal of Tanzania

Abdul Abdallah vs Republic () [1994] TZCA 7 (21 March 1994);

Law report citations
1995 TLR 1 (TZCA)
Media neutral citation
[1994] TZCA 7

Mnzavas, J.A., read the following order of the court: G
The appellant, Abdul Abdallah, was convicted of the offence of robbery with violence contrary to s 285 of the Penal Code by Kinutu Resident Magistrate's Court and sentenced to thirty years imprisonment. On appeal to the High Court the decision of the district court was upheld and the appeal dismissed. H
Still dissatisfied he has come to this Court. Before us Miss Munisi, learned State Attorney, raised a preliminary objection and argued that the notice of appeal was lodged out of time and asked us to strike out the appeal as being incompetent. When the Court asked the learned state attorney whether she had anything to say about I

A the sentence of thirty years imprisonment she conceded that the sentence was illegal as the offence was committed before Act No 10 of 1989 came into operation and asked the Court to use its powers of revision in dealing with the unlawful sentence.
B With respect we agree with the learned state attorney that the notice of appeal is hopelessly out of time as it was filed 14 April 1993 over one year after the judgment of the High Court was delivered on 10 February 1992. Rule 61(1) of the Court of Appeal Rules required the appellant to file his notice adopted within 14 C days of the date of the High Court decision. The appeal before us is therefore imcompetent. However, in exercise of our powers of revision under s 4(2) of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1979, as amended by Act No 17 of 1993 it is our considered view that the sentence of 30 years imprisonment imposed by the district court and upheld by the High Court was clearly illegal. The charge shows D that the offence of robbery was committed on 11 May 1989. At that time the law applicable was the Minimum Sentence Act 1972 which provided under s 5(b) a minimum sentence of seven years imprisonment for robbery. Act No 10 of 1989 under which the appellant was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment for the offence of robbery came into operation on 21 May 1989 - ten days after the E appellant committed the offence. As Act No 10 of 1989 was not meant to apply ex post facto it was clearly wrong for the two courts below to sentence the appellant under a law which was not in existence at the time he committed the offence.
F It is our view that there was ample evidence in support of the conviction but as we have already mentioned, the sentence of thirty years imprisonment was illegal; and, in the exercise of our revisional powers we set it aside and in substitution therefore the appellant is sentenced to seven years imprisonment.