Tanzania’s whistle-blower site bosses freed

Tanzania’s whistle-blower site bosses freed

Senior Magistrate of Kisutu Court in Dar es Salaam, Godfrey Mwambapa today acquitted and discharged JamiiForums bosses; Maxence Melo and Mike Mushi on a ruling of no-case-to-answer submission filed by their defense lawyers; Peter Kibatala, Jeremiah Mtobesya and Benedict Ishebakaki, after the prosecution closed its case.

The accused persons were standing trial on obstruction of an investigation; contrary to section 22 (1) of the Cybercrimes Act No 14 of 2015. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. The prosecution in order to prove its case called a total of four witnesses and tendered exhibits.

Particulars of the offense shows that Maxence and Mike on diverse dates between 10th of May, 2016 and 13th day of December, 2016 at Mikocheni area within Kinondoni District in Dar es Salaam Region being the directors of Jamii Media Company Limited, operating a social media network commonly known as JamiiForums as managers and founders, while knowing that the Tanzania Police forces is conducting a criminal investigation on posts containing false information against CUSNA Investment and Ocean Link, published by its members in the said social media network with user names of Kwayu JF Senior —Expert member and Amrishpuri, intentionally and unlawfully concealed the identities of said members with intent to obstruct the said investigation.

In their postings on user generated content platform (UGC), the said Kwayu and Amrishpuri accused the said companies for taxes dodging and tyrannizing their employees.

“This is a good sign for the coming two other cases of the same grounds in the very same court of law,” said Simon Mkina, President of Tanzania Journalists Alliance after hearing the news.