Maria Sanga said, during a press conference with Tanzanian journalists on Monday, February 1, that the convict, who is currently serving 60 years in jail for the offense, did not impregnate, let alone defile her.
Sanga said while in Form Two in 2017, she was impregnated by her boyfriend at the time, but falsely accused her neighbour, Frank Tumaini, of being responsible for the pregnancy. In her address Monday, Sanga refused to reveal the identity of the man who impregnated her.
“After sitting my end of year exams in 2017, I returned home. I got pregnant by a man who claimed to love me. When my parents discovered that I was expectant, they asked me to disclose who impregnated me, but I refused. They, thereafter, conducted their independent investigations, which suggested that Frank Tumaini, who was in Form Four then, was the father of my child.
“When they asked me to confirm or deny their findings, I responded in the affirmative. Tumaini was, consequently, arrested. I later recorded a statement with police, stating that Tumaini defiled and impregnated me. The matter went to court, which relied heavily on my testimony. Tumaini was, consequently, jailed for 60 years after being declared guilty of the crime in August 2018.
“It hurt me knowing that I sent an innocent person to jail. My conscience couldn’t let me have peace. I have since filed reports at different administrative offices, including a police station, confessing to having lied about Tumaini’s involvement in my pregnancy.”
Tumaini’s father, Frank Mfinanga, has now urged the prosecution to consider Sanga’s confession, and arrange for Tumaini’s retrial.
Alternatively, Mfinanga says Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli should consider pardoning his son.
Mfinganga claimed that the court that jailed his son did not rely on DNA evidence to declare him guilty of the defilement charge.
“The judge who was originally handling my son’s case was transferred before he could order any DNA testing. His successor, however, continued hearing the case without any DNA material produced as evidence,” said Mfinanga.
Elizabeth Minde, an advocate of the High Court, urged Tumaini to appeal against the lower court’s decision.