Former Hai district commissioner Ole Sabaya has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of armed robbery.
The verdict and the nature of the offenses against him are the first in recent years, especially for the district commissioner in Tanzania. Once the verdict was handed down on the afternoon of October 15, there was a shift in perspective from those who supported him and those who wanted him to be punished for the actions they were calling for.
Paulo Mgosi, a resident of Arusha, told the BBC shortly after the verdict that; ‘I think it is right, it is right for the deeds he did, if so it will be a lesson for others who will do such deeds to be punished 30 as Sabaya’.
The statement was echoed by another Arusha resident, Richard Emanuel who said; ‘I did not expect a leader like that, he would do what we are hearing now, and in fact he got the judgment I did not expect, in fact there are other leaders who will learn’.
On social media there have also been a lot of comments.
Tito Magoti, one of Tanzania’s leading human rights activists, says the verdict is as if it has brought down Sabaya, from being ‘king to rogue’.