Few in Tanzania are unaware of the issues surrounding the conduct of Benjamin Mengi against British investors Stewart Middleton and Sarah Hermitage and their Tanzanian staff in his criminal attempt to re-gain the lease to Silverdale & Mbono Farms which his Fiona Tanzania Ltd sold in May 2004 and the deliberate campaign of criminal liable and defamation promoted by his brother Reginald Mengi using IPP Media.
Benjamin Mengi and his wife Millie, unlawfully keep a herd of cattle on Silverdale Farm refusing to remove them. In early 2006, Mr. Middleton and his wife had to suffer the appalling sight of Mengi's cattle dying from neglect and Foot & Foot Mouth disease with infected carcasses deliberately left unburied around the couple's house.
Mengi continues to use the animals as a means of harassment and intimidation and of destroying Mr. Middleton's 's commercial interests in Tanzania. The Tanzanian authorities have ignored and condoned this criminal action by Mengi for four years.
On the 31st January 2007, Salim Habib (employed by Mengi to tend his cattle, present on the farm as a trespasser and refusing to leave) deliberately drove a herd of forty of Mengi's cattle into a plot of Maize grown for export on Silverdale Farm causing $10,000 of destruction.
When approached by Silverdale staff, Habib became violent wielding a Machete, threatened to kill Technical Manager Able Ng'oja.
Damage to export crops deliberately effetd by Benjamin Mengi's staff
The man was apprehended by farm staff and handcuffed in full compliance with laws of Tanzania. The police were called but failed to attend for four hours. Whe they attended, they ateded with Benjamin Mengi.
Salem was handed over to Inspector Janet from the Moshi Police who took Habib into custody. Inspector Janeth on arrival in Moshi town immediately released Habib and escorted him to the District Police Station in Moshi where he opened criminal charges of assault against the Silverdale staff that had lawfully detained him.
Benjamin Mengi, not present at the scene stated to reporters from IPP Media (Jackson Kimambo) that British Investor Stewart Middleton had incited his staff to beat Mr. Salem. IPP Media publication the Guardian printed the following day, the fact that the men had been arrested and that Stewart Middleton stood by and watched as Habib cried for his life. This was a deliberate act of criminal liable by IPP Media the CEO of which is Reginald Mengi, Benjamin Mengi's brother. No right of reply was offered to Middleton.
The four staff, all key staff for the investors farming operation, Able Ng'oja (Technical Manager), Macel Kaishe (security Manager), Edward Swai (Farm Manager) and Swalehe Rajabu (Irrigation Manager) were asked to attend Moshi Police station the next day and give witness statements.
On completion of their statements, the men were told that the statements they had given were not in fact witness statements but they were statements under caution with reference to a complaint of assault by Mr. Habib against them. None of the men were formally arrested, cautioned or given legal representation in abuse of the Penal Code of Tanzania. This corruption was instigated by Benjamin Mengi and Inspector Janeth together with the Regional Police Commander Lucas Ng'hoboko .
The Director of Criminal Investigation on being apprised of these facts stated that the men had indeed, not been formally arrested and charged and instructed that there was no evidence against the men. Surprisingly, Salim's brother, Omari, not present at the incident was charged for an offence of damage in respect of the incident.
Mengi boasted for weeks, that he would place the men in prison by any means whatsoever. In July 2007, Benjamin Mengi (not present at the incident) asked the police to re-open the case; they declined stating their investigation was completed. Mengi then sought the assistance of State Attorney in Charge in Moshi, Juma Ramadan, a close friend of Mengi's (and an overtly corrupt government officer) to prosecute the case regardless of the decision of the police. Juma agreed.
On Juma's instructions, the four men were again asked to attend Moshi police station by the Regional Crime Officer and on arrival, they were immediately taken before the court and asked to plead to charges once again of the assault of Salim Habib. They had not been cautioned charged or formally arrested. Their rights under the Constitution of Tanzania were again abused.
On the 25th January 2008, all four men were sentenced to six months imprisonment with the prosecutor seeking the severest possible punishment to teach the men a lesson.
At the trial, no prosecution witnesses were called stating they had seen Habib assaulted by the accused. All the prosecution witnesses stated they were not present at the scene of the alleged assault. Conversely, six witnesses called by the defence gave direct evidence of the fact that Salim was not assaulted by the accused and did in fact commit the serious offence of malicious damage and was lawfully detained and handed over to the police.
To sum up, the prosecution of the men was a viciously corrupt act orchestrated by Mengi's, the police, the state attorney's office and Principle Magistrate Du Du. The prosecution was a complete travesty of justice bringing shame on Tanzania and the Tanzanian legal system.
After sentencing, the British Government was told by the Director of Prosecutions that the clearly corrupt judgement would be addressed and rectified by him personally. he did not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The investors were driven out of Tanzania in February 2008 by Mengi's threats to kill them.
Despite a report conducted by the PCCB and a statement to the British government by PCCB Chief Edward Hoseah, that the lease to the farms lawfully belonged to the British investors, Mengi has been allowed to invade Silverdale Farm and steal all of the property belonging to the investors. This action has been facilitated by the corruption of Regional Police Commander Lucas Ng'hoboko and Regional Crime Officer Linus Sinzumwa who are actively assisting Mengi in his crimes.
Described by British M.P. Roger Gale as a small time cheat, Benjamin Mengi's criminal activity appears to be supported by the Tanzanian government in that nothing is done to apply the rule of law to his conduct.
Those engaged in high level corruption in support of Mengi's theft of the lease to Silverdale & Mbono Farms are particularly but not exclusively, as follows: -
Regional Crime Officer Moshi Linus Sinzumwa Regional Police Commander RPC Lucas Ng'hoboko Police Inspector Janet Fraud Officer Mshana Regional Commissioner Babu IPP Media Reginald Mengi Magistrates Du Du, Mkisi, Herbert, Temu, Nyere State Attorney's Office State Attorney Juma District Land and Housing Registry Officer Nkya Avocates Lymambo, Jonathan, Msunga, Sandi.
The question must surely be asked, why doesn't the Tanzanian government apply the rule of law to Benjamin Mengi's criminal conduct?
Who rules Tanzania? Well in Moshi, clearly, the Mengi family.