Some 5 Kenyans and one Tanzanian who who were charged with Moshi 2004 robbery have been jailed for 32 years each.
Moshi Resident Magistrate’s Court found the six guilty of robbing the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) Moshi branch of the of TSh5.3 billion (Ksh 281 million) on May 21, 2004.
Those jailed include Jumanne Kilongola (accused by the prosecution for hiring the getaway car), a Tanzanian bishop with the Christian Fellowship Assemblies of God, Kenyan nationals Wilfred Onyango Nganyi, Patrick Muthee Murithi, Gabriel Kungu Kariuki, Jimmy Maina Njoroge and Simon Ndungu Kiambuthi.
The Principal Resident Magistrate Simon Kobelo also acquitted three other Kenyans; Boniface Mwangi Mburu, David Ngugi Mburu and Michael Mbanya Wathigo for lack of incriminating evidence. Each of the robbers was sentenced to 30 years in jail for armed robbery and handed another two-year jail term for conspiring to commit a crime.
Only $39,000 (Ksh 3.5 million) which the Magistrate ordered that be surrendered to the NBC was ever recovered from the suspects.
TSh126.2 million of the loot belonged to NBC, while TSh5.1 billion belonged to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), which was using the NBC Moshi branch as its regional centre.
Yesterday’s verdict pushed to 12 the number of people jailed for the robbery.
Tanzanians Jackson ole Nametemi, Benjamin Dia, Kelvin Dia and Raphael Kalaghe were jailed for 30 years each in December 2006, while Eveline Mlaki and Happy Memei each received a three-year jail term.
Mlaki and Memei have served their sentences while the other four convicts challenged the verdict at the High Court, where their appeal has been pending for over seven years.
Three other suspects – Ugandan nationals Charles Lumago and Shaaban Wayabona and Kenyan Patrick Ingoi – fled the country, and efforts to bring them to justice have so far failed.