Court name
High Court of Tanzania

Alfani Mlaponi & Another vs Republic () [1990] TZHC 10 (22 August 1990);

Law report citations
1990 TLR 104 (TZHC)
Media neutral citation
[1990] TZHC 10
Maina, J.

Maina J.: The two appellants were jointly charged with, and convicted of unlawful possession of "Moshi" contrary to section 30 of the Moshi (Manufacture and Distillation) Act, No.62 of 1966. They were each sentenced to H eighteen months imprisonment. They were convicted on their own pleas of guilty. The appeals are against conviction.
As Mr. Hyera, learned State attorney, rightly pointed out, there can be no appeal against conviction on a plea of guilty. (See section 360 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1985.) The question here is whether the pleas were I unequivocal. If they were, then there can be no appeal against the convictions. When the charge was read over to the

appellants, each one of then admitted and said "It is true". Then the facts were read showing that they were found in A possession of fifteen litres of the illicit local liquor known as "Moshi". This comprised two gallons and two bottles. The appellants admitted the facts, and they were accordingly convicted and sentenced. They now say that they were beaten up and that they were not found with moshi. That is an afterthought. When they appeared before the B trial court, the charge was read over and explained to them and they admitted the charge and the facts which were later outlined by the prosecution. The pleas were clearly unequivocal and the conviction was inevitable.
As regards sentence while it is true that both appellants are first offenders, the quantity of moshi found in their C possession was such that it must have been intended for sale and not personal consumption. As Georges, C.J. said in the case of Hadija do Omari v R. [1970] HCD n. 158:
Where the quantity of liquor found with the offender is such that they must have been a distributor, a prison sentence D would seem to be correct, even for a first offender.
With respect, I agree with the learned Chief Justice. It must also be pointed out that under the old Ordinance, the E maximum penalty was a fine of Shs. 1,000/= or three months imprisonment. But the present legislation provides a maximum of five years imprisonment for the offence. This reflects the seriousness with which Parliament views this type of offence. I agree with the trial magistrate that a sentence of imprisonment was appropriate, in the F circumstances. The sentences are confirmed.
Appeal dismissed. G