Tanzanian Man escapes life sentence over murder


RUKWA Region resident, Didas Sumuni (38) has escaped a life imprisonment after the High Court of Tanzania- Sumbawanga Zone reduced his prison sentence to seven years after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

In the case, the man pleaded to kill his young brother, Levocatus Sumuni also a resident of Mshani Village at Kalambazite Ward in Sumbawanga District.

In the verdict, the Prosecution side was led by State Attorneys, John Kabengula assisted by Ms Marietha Maguta while defence counsel was Peter Kanyalile.

Trial Judge, John Mkwabi delivered the ruling on the occasion to mark the climax of the Law Day held recently at the High Court of Tanzania- Sumbawanga Zone here in municipality.

On passing the verdict, trial judge Mkwabi said the judge has a mandate to reduce the prison term(s) after considering several factors including mitigation of the accused.

“Also, the type of the crime and the fact that the accused had no previous crime record, and his cooperation to assist law enforcers and pleading guilty of the crime during cautious statement, facilitated term reduction. “Therefore, I hereby sentence the accused (Didas Sumuni) to seven years in jail. This sentence will serve as deterrent to those who might be planning to commit similar crime,” ruled the trial judge.

Initially, prosecuting, State Attorney, Kibengula said the accused committed the crime at night, on November, 30th 2020 at Mshani Village at Miangulua Ward in Sumbawanga District, Rukwa Region.

It was further claimed before the court that on the material night, the accused while at his house was called to stop a brawl between his young brothers, Levocatus and Eric.

It was claimed that Levocatus, who was drinking at a night pub when he returned at his house, found his young brother Eric sleeping on his bed.

“Levocatus turned violent and started fighting and it was at that moment that the accused arrived and stopped the fight,” explained defence counsel, Kabengula.

After separating them, the accused returned to his house with Eric and shortly again, the deceased (Levocatus) armed with a sharp object resumed fighting with his elder brother Didas, who hit him severely on hands and stomach.

On mitigation, the defence counsel, Kanyalile prayed for lenient punishment because the accused was first offender and was remorseful for killing his biological young brother, adding that he has been in custody for more than a year before the case could be heard.