10 August 2017, Dar es Salaam - The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday rejected the prosecutions’ request for businessman Yusuf Manji allegedly found with military uniform fabrics worth over 200m/- to be sent to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) for interrogation on tax matters.
Principal Resident Magistrate Cyprian Mkeha said he could not issue such order since the file of the case relate to issues falling under the Economic and Organised Crimes Control Act and National Security Act, and so have nothing to do with tax issues.
He said that since the prosecutions had initially requested for an order, removing Manji from prison and since he managed to attend the court session, they could, therefore, use other means to achieve their intended goals.
“What I can do is to adjourn these proceedings to another date,” the magistrate said. The magistrate adjourned the case to August 18, for mention, pending further investigations.
Before such adjournment, Senior State Attorney Mutalemwa Kishenyi had requested the court to hand over Manji to TRA officials to be grilled on tax matters, promising to return him before the end of working hours.
The request was, how ever, vehemently opposed by Manji lawyers, Alex Mgongolwa, Hudson Ndusyepo and Seni Malimi, saying it was misplaced because their client has already communicated with TRA on the issue and there were other legal consultants who are handling the matter.
“In order for such interrogations to be meaningful, these legal consultants have to be informed. By the way, are the TRA needing Manji personally or his companies? I think for today, the prosecution’s request is untenable and cannot be possible,” one of the lawyers told the court.
To add more facts on the matter, Manji rose up and sought permission to address the court on the issue and said that at the end of June this year he had shown cooperation with the TRA, but later the communications were disrupted when he was arrested by the police.
In the case, Manji (41) is charged alongside three officials with Quality Group, Deogratius Kisinda (28), the Human Resources and Administrative Officer, Abdallah Sangey (46), Store Keeper and Thobias Fwele (43), Assistant Store Keeper.
It is alleged that on June 30, this year at Chang’ombe A area in Temeke District, jointly and together, all accused persons were found by a police officer in possession of 35 bundles of fabric used for uniforms of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF), valued at 192.5m/-, which were unlawfully acquired.
Manji and his co-accused persons are also charged with a similar count of being found with eight bundles of same materials valued at 44m/-, allegedly committed on July 1, this year, at Chang’ombe A area in Temeke District in the city of Dar es Salaam.