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Court summons Lissu in sedition case

THE Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam has ordered former Singida East Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu to show up on November 30, 2020 to attend one out of five sedition cases he is facing.

Senior Resident Magistrate in Charge Godfrey Isaya ordered that a summons be issued to compel Lissu, who was presidential candidate under opposition Chadema party, to report to court in the next session after considering an application by prosecution when he failed to attend the case on today.

The prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon, told the court that neither the opposition leader nor his advocate Peter Kibatala attended yesterday’s session when the case came for mention, a move that forced him to request the court to subpoena Lissu.

“Initially, this case was set for mention but Lissu could not attend the session because of the ongoing election processes. Now the elections are over. We request the case to be adjourned for another mention and a summons for Lissu be issued,” the trial attorney appealed.

The magistrate granted the prosecution’s request and adjourned the trial to November 30, 2020. In the case, the prosecution accuses the then MP of committing the offences on August 2, 2016, at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court.

It is alleged that with intent to create hatred against the country and against the president, Lissu uttered seditious words, allegedly implicating the Head of State as a dictator.

The prosecution also charges the former lawmaker of uttering seditious words. There are four other sedition cases under which Lissu is charged with.

One of the cases is before Resident Magistrate Kasssian Matembele, where the ex-MP is facing five counts of uttering words with intent to wound religious feelings and raise discontent and ill-will for unlawful purposes.

The offences, according to the prosecution, are alleged to have been committed on January 11, 2017 at Kombeni area within Magharibi B District in West Urban region in Zanzibar during the Dimani Constituency election campaign assembly.

Another case is before Senior Resident Magistrates Augustina Mbando, under which Lissu, who is currently Vice-Chairman with Chadema, is charged with hate speech, an offence which is alleged to have been committed on July 17, 2017 at Ufipa area within Kinondoni District in Dar es Salaam.

Lissu is accused of uttering several abusive words against the fifth phase government, led by President John Magufuli, which were likely to stir up ethnic hatred.

Before Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba, Lissu is charged alongside three other accused persons with publishing seditious material in Mawio newspaper dated January 14, 2016, relating to re-run of elections in Zanzibar.

In the case, Lissu is charged alongside two seasoned Journalists Simon Mkina and Jabir Yunus, as well as businessman and Printer Ismail Mehbood.

The charges they are facing include conspiracy to publish a seditious publication, publishing and printing a seditious publication and printing a newspaper without submission of an affidavit.

They are charged with an alternative count of intimidation to the charge of publishing seditious publication

. It is alleged that between January 12 and 14, 2016, at unknown place in the city, Yunus, Mkina and Lissu conspired together to publish a seditious publication.

According to the prosecution, the publication bore the title “Machafuko yaja Zanzibar,” in the newspaper, namely Mawio dated January 14, 2016.

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