#FreeErickKabendera & #ChangeTZMoneyLaundryLawby Shirumisha Kwayu on 08/06/19
It is sad that Erick Kabendera was charged with money laundering yesterday. This charge raises concern on our justice system especially when considering the circumstance on which Erick was arrested. Erick was arrested in a fashion that the public thought he was kidnapped. Due to recent kidnappings such as of Ben Saanane, Azory Gwanda, Simon Kanguye, Roma Mkatoliki, Mo Dewji, Mdude Nyagali, Raphaeli Ongangi and Allan Kiluvya. The public was quick to react and demand his whereabouts. The next day after his arrest, the police admitted that they had arrested him to question his citizenship status. Soon, the accusation changed towards sedition offence under the cybercrime law. Then finally they accused him with money laundering offence. Contrary to Tanzania laws Erick was not charged in the court within a period of 24 hours after his arrest. It took a week before he was sent to court. Erick’s arrest and the flipflop of accusations raises a lot of concerns.
The first concern, what would have been the fate of Erick if the public did not react quickly? The correct answer is no one knows except the ones who arrested him. Considering that there is no substantial answers to the prior kidnapping events, such fashion of arrest raises suspicions towards security organs on their failure to arrest the kidnappers or to provide an account of what happened to the victims of Kidnapping. This manner of arrest undermines the security forces and the government in general as the public can or has started to loose faith in them.
Second, the flipflopping of accusation shows the unpreparedness and malicious intent on Erick. Clearly, this reveals the innocence of the victim. In addition, it shows an intention to punish Erick for whatever reason and perhaps might be the reason why there has been reluctance to provide a bail to Erick. In circumstance, where they delay to send him to court and no proper accusation one still wonders what would the fate of Erick be if they were dealing with him without the awareness of the public.
Last but not least, money laundering law is unjust because the defendant is not offered a bail. The Tanzania money laundry and economic sabotage laws need to be revisited as they are against human rights. Also they are used to oppress people. These laws are abused as their investigation often takes time to complete. Being accused with money laundry is almost equal to being a convicted criminal. Thus, accusing Erick for money laundry is a means to punish him without proving guilty. I want to end this entry with a big shout #FreeErickKabendera & #ChangeTZMoneyLaundryLaw