By Own Correspondent, Dar es Salaam – The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday delivered the first ever judgment on one of the high profile External Payment Arrears (EPA) cases, sentencing Farijala Hussein and Rajabu Maranda to jail terms of 19 and 18 years respectively upon convictions on separate counts.
They will however serve only five years in jail because the sentences run concurrently. The two were charged with eight counts involving stealing of over Sh. 1.8 billion from the EPA account in 2005.
The Kisutu Court further ordered to return the stolen money to the government or lose their properties through confiscation. The joint judgement was delivered by a panel of three magistrates, Mr. Ilvin Mugeta, Mr. Saul Kinemela and Mr. Phocus Bampikya who among other counts convicted the two on falsely obtaining money from the EPA and using a fake company registered as Kiloloma and Brothers.
Their advocate, Mr. Majura Magufa said soon after the sentencing, that he will opt to appeal to the country’s High Court both against conviction and sentencing.
The case involves several High profile people in Tanzania relating to massive thefts in the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) way back in 2005. A number of fake companies were formed and withdrew billions of money from the EPA account of the BoT purportedly to support the rulling party, CCM, in that year’s presidential and Parliamentary elections.
An investigations by independent auditors established that more than thirty companies were formed to steal the money, the report of which causes huge political debates in Dar es Salaam. President Jakaya Kikwete had to relieve the former Governor of BoT, Daud Ballali of his duties and declared that all those who would fail to return the money would face prosecution. A number of other EPA cases are still pending at the Kisutu Court.