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They are Leila Constantine Sinare (36), an office attendant from Magomeni, Godfrey Edward Soka (45), a businessman from Kimara Mwisho, Deo Edmund Soka (40), a businessman residing at Kinyerezi Mwisho and Monica Gaspary Soka (32), a businesswoman from Pugu.

All of them denied the charges before Principal Resident Magistrate Cyprian Mkeha and were granted bail on conditions of signing a bond of 5m/- with one surety each.

The sureties were also ordered to sign a bond of similar amount. The prosecution, led by State Attorney Wankyo Simon and Principal State Attorney Johannes Kalungura from Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), informed the court that investigations into the matter have not been completed.

For that matter, the magistrate adjourned the case to December 3, for mention, pending further investigations. It is alleged by the prosecution that the accused persons committed the offences between October 20 and 30, this year at unknown place in the city.

Sinare is facing a separate count of publishing voice note containing false and misleading information through a social media network, namely whatsapp containing words relating to the general elections that the country would enter into chaos and that fake ballot boxes had been seized.

The published words include, “Ndugu zangu wana kigango cha siasa, hakuna cha kutakiana uchaguzi mwema wala nini. Nchi yetu inaingia kwenye machafuko muda wowote kuanzia sasa hivi na kama tulivyoambiwa kwamba nchi hii itageuka kuwa nchi ya vita ni kweli imeingia kwenye vita. “Mabox yenye kura feki yamekamatwa Jimbo la Vunjo yamekamatwa mabox matatu, tumekamata mabox feki Moshi mjini. Mabox 6 Ilemela, Mabox 12 Hanang. Kwa kifupi uchaguzi umeshavurugika na Tanga nasikia magari yamesimma sehemu”. The messege further reads, “Makamanda zetu bado wanaendelea kufuatilia lakini inasemekana ni mabox ya kura na mpaka sasa hivi hali sio nzuri CCM wameingiza kura feki na niseme kutokana na hali halisi ambayo ipo hatuponi kwa sababu Mwanza vijana vimeshaaanza kuuawa. “…. wameshakufa vijana wanne, watano mpaka sasa na hali hiyo inaendelea….. CCM jamani tunaomba mtuachie nchi kwa amani, kweli ingelipaswa kutuua angalau kwa sumu mkabaki wenyewe, msitutese msitutese…”

The prosecution told the court further that within the same period, the other three accused persons, jointly and together published the voice note containing similar misleading words with similar information in whatsapp vide a charting group namely, Soka Group. Such publication, according to the prosecution, was intended to mislead the public during Tanzania general elections 2015.

Prior to the arraignment of the four accused persons, nine others have already been charged before the same court for allegedly publishing false information linked with the general elections.

By FAUSTINE KAPAMA, Tanzania Daily News

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