Top education officials face 59m/- theft charges

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FOUR top officials with the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training were yesterday arraigned before a Dar es Salaam court on seven counts of embezzlement and misappropriation of public money and occasioning losses amounting to over 59m/-.

The accused are the Director of Education, Bakari Issa, Emmanuel Mayuma (Accountant), Hellen Lihawa (Deputy Director of Education) and Mbarouk Dachi, the Assistant Accountant.

Before Principal Resident Magistrate, Wilbard Mashauri of the Kisutu Resident Magistrates’ Court in Dar es Salaam, the accused denied the charges and were granted bail on condition of availing two reliable sureties who will have to sign a bond of 50m/-.

Besides the sureties and bond, the court ordered the accused not to travel outside Dar es Salaam Region without the court’s permit.

The case was prosecuted by prosecutors with the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Emmanuel Jacob, Fatuma Waziri and Denis Lekayo. Earlier, Defence Attorney Majura Magafu, for the first accused, had requested that the accused be granted bail, arguing the charges were ‘bailable.’

But the prosecution, through Mr Jacob, requested the court to grant tough conditions to the accused as an assurance that they would report to court on regular basis. But counsel Magafu said the issue of conditions of bail was at the discretion of the court which alone could do so considering the nature of the charges.

He informed the court that the accused were under PCCB bail for a period of six months and through that time they had been attending court proceedings as directed - without default.

“This is a sign that the accused are trustworthy persons and they will abide to the court’s conditions, considering that the charges facing them are not very serious offences to make them disappear,” he said. Mr Magafu also requested the court to consider the bail and exercise leniency.

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