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ARREST

REV. CHRISTOPHER MTIKILA v. ATTORNEY GENERAL [2004] TLR


172
COURT OF APPEAL OF TANZANIA ATDARES SALAAM
(Lubuva, Mroso and Munuo, JJ.A.)
At noon on Friday, armed policemen with warrants arrested the appellant and
searched his residence. Thereafter, he was kept in police custody over the
weekend up to Monday, allegedly on suspicion of possession of seditious
materials. No charges were made against him. The appellant then filed a suit in
the High Court against the respondent for false imprisonment, claiming both
general and exemplary damages, and interest at both commercial and Court
rates, and costs. The High Court found as a fact that the appellant's detention for
more than 24 hours allowed by the law without lawful excuse amounted to false
imprisonment and awarded him TZS. 200 000 as an exemplary damages; but it
refused to award interest at commercial rate and costs. The appellant appealed
to the Court asking for enhancement of damages and award of interest at
commercial rate and costs.
Held; (iii) The respondent's defence that the appellant had to stay in, custody at
the police station because the Courts do not work on weekends was flimsy since
the police could have given him police bail.
JOHN PETER SHAYO AND TWO OTHERS v. REPUBLIC [1998] TLR
198
The appellants were charged in the resident magistrate's court and convicted of

Unauthorized possession off rearms and ammunition, contrary to s.13(l) of the


Arms and Ammunition Ordinance, read together with s.59 of the Economic and
Organised Crime Control Act 1984 and paragraph 21 of the First Schedule
thereto. During the trial a cautioned statement made by one of the appellants to
a police officer was admitted in evidence; and it was explicit about his full
complicity in the offences charged, although he repudiated the confession at the
trial, alleging that police brutality was used to make him sign it. The
information in that statement led to the discovery of two pistols. Upon these
findings the trial court magistrate concluded that the confession was admissible
under s.31 of the Evidence Act 1967. On appeal it was also argued that the
statement was recorded in breach of s.50 of the Criminal Procedure Act
1985, in that the interrogations went on beyond the four hours prescribed
thereunder. It was further argued that evidence should have been taken by the
trial court on the voire dire to determine the admissibility of the confession. The
appeal against sentence was also directed at the refusal by the trial court
magistrate to order the prison term of the first appellant to run concurrently with
another prison term he was serving for related offences.
Held; iii) While it is true that s.50 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1985
prescribes four hours as the basic period for interrogating a person under
restraint, a process described in that Act rather euphemistically as interview,
s.51 (c) permits extension of such interview for a period of 8 hours where
circumstances reasonably demand it, and regard must also be had to the
provisions of s.50(2) by which certain periods are to be excluded from the
computation of the basic period;
iv) Even if there was any breach of the law in regard to interrogations, the fault
would amount to a mere irregularity and the issue would be the weight to be
attached to the statement rather than the admissibility of the document;