Dar es Salaam. The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court has dismissed five terrorism cases and set free 12 accused persons , who were facing charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism.
The move comes after the Director of Public Prosecutions in Tanzania (DPP) informed the Court that he had no intention of proceeding with the charges against them.
The accused who were set free are Seif Mwishehe, Yusuph Rajabu, Buheti Buheti, Juma Athuman, Ally Nassoro popularly known as Omary Swala, Hassan Mnele and six others.
The decision to dismiss the cases was handed down today, March 1, 2022 by five different Magistrates, namely Chief Resident Magistrate Evodia Kyaruzi, Huruma Shahidi and Yusto Ruboroga, after the prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the charges against the accused.
A panel of four prosecuting attorneys led by Senior State Counsel, Waziri Magumbo, assisted by Ramadhani Kalinga, Ashura Mzava and Yusuph Avoid, told the court that the cases were called for mention but the DPP decided to not proceed with the case against the defendants.
Magumbo claimed that the accused had their charges dropped under section 91 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), chapter 20, which was amended in 2019.
Defendants are alleged to have committed offenses on December 23, 2015 and 2016 in various regions in the country including, Dar es Salaam and Manyovu area in Kigoma region.
Once just an obscure island dialect of an African Bantu tongue, Swahili has evolved into Africa’s most internationally recognised language. It is peer to the few languages of the world that boast over 200 million users.
Over the two millennia of Swahili’s growth and adaptation, the moulders of this story – immigrants from inland Africa, traders from Asia, Arab and European occupiers, European and Indian settlers, colonial rulers, and individuals from various postcolonial nations – have used Swahili and adapted it to their own purposes. They have taken it wherever they have gone to the west.
Africa’s Swahili-speaking zone now extends across a full third of the continent from south to north and touches on the opposite coast, encompassing the heart of Africa.
The origins The historical lands of the Swahili are on East Africa’s Indian Ocean littoral. A 2,500-kilometer chain of coastal towns from Mogadishu, Somalia to Sofala, Mozambique as well as offshore islands as far away as the Comoros and Seychelles.
Our mission is to share knowledge and inform decisions. This coastal region has long served as an international crossroads of trade and human movement. People from all walks of life and from regions as scattered as Indonesia, Persia, the African Great Lakes, the United States and Europe all encountered one another. Hunter-gatherers, pastoralists and farmers mingled with traders and city-dwellers.
Africans devoted to ancestors and the spirits of their lands met Muslims, Hindus, Portuguese Catholics and British Anglicans. Workers (among them slaves, porters and labourers), soldiers, rulers and diplomats were mixed together from ancient days. Anyone who went to the East African littoral could choose to become Swahili, and many did.
African unity The roll of Swahili enthusiasts and advocates includes notable intellectuals, freedom fighters, civil rights activists, political leaders, scholarly professional societies, entertainers and health workers. Not to mention the usual professional writers, poets, and artists.
Foremost has been Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka. The Nigerian writer, poet and playwright has since the 1960s repeatedly called for use of Swahili as the transcontinental language for Africa. The African Union (AU), the “united states of Africa” nurtured the same sentiment of continental unity in July 2004 and adopted Swahili as its official language. As Joaquim Chissano (then the president of Mozambique) put this motion on the table, he addressed the AU in the flawless Swahili he had learned in Tanzania, where he was educated while in exile from the Portuguese colony.
The African Union did not adopt Swahili as Africa’s international language by happenstance. Swahili has a much longer history of building bridges among peoples across the continent of Africa and into the diaspora.
The feeling of unity, the insistence that all of Africa is one, just will not disappear. Languages are elemental to everyone’s sense of belonging, of expressing what’s in one’s heart. The AU’s decision was particularly striking given that the populations of its member states speak an estimated two thousand languages (roughly one-third of all human languages), several dozen of them with more than a million speakers.
Scientists appear to have cured HIV in a woman for the first time.
A group of American researchers used a new method of transplanting stem cells that they hope could be administered to dozens of people every year.
The woman, who is of mixed race, is the third person ever to be cured of HIV. Scientists announced on Tuesday that the method, which involves the use of umbilical cord blood, could lead to more racially diverse people being cured than was previously believed to be possible.
There is a larger supply of cord blood than adult stem cells, which are usually used in bone marrow transplants, and cord blood also doesn’t need to be as closely matched to the patient. Most donors are Caucasian, meaning that a partial match could cure dozens of those suffering from both cancer and HIV in the US every year, The New York Times reported.
The woman who was cured was also afflicted by leukaemia, and she received cord blood to treat it, which came from a donor who was a partial match. The usual practice is to find a bone marrow donor whose race and ethnicity is similar to that of the patient. The woman also received blood from a close relative to temporarily boost her body’s immune system as the transplant settled.
The new findings were presented on Tuesday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Denver, Colorado.
University of California, San Francisco AIDS expert Dr Steven Deeks said that “the fact that she’s mixed race, and that she’s a woman, that is really important scientifically and really important in terms of the community impact,” The New York Times reported.
Women account for the majority of global HIV cases but only make up 11 per cent of participants in cure trials. The disease is thought to develop differently in men and women.
But Dr Deeks added that he doesn’t believe the new treatment will grow into widespread use. “These are stories of providing inspiration to the field and perhaps the road map,” he said.
Almost 38 million people around the world are living with HIV, with around 73 per cent of them receiving treatment via strong antiretroviral drugs that can control the virus. Most of them cannot go through a bone marrow transplant, as the procedure is invasive and risky. This kind of treatment tends to be provided to cancer patients without other options.
According to The Times, two others have previously been cured of HIV. Timothy Ray Brown, known as “The Berlin Patient”, remained free of the virus for 12 years before dying of cancer in 2020. Fellow patient Adam Castillejo was confirmed to have been cured in 2019. Both of them received bone marrow transplants from donors carrying an HIV-blocking mutation, which has only been found in around 20,000 donors, most of whom are descended from northern Europe.
Both Mr Brown and Mr Castillejo suffered harsh side effects, including graft and host disease – Mr Brown almost died following the transplant. Mr Castillejo lost almost 70 pounds (32kg) in the year that followed his procedure. His doctors said he also experienced hearing loss and went through several infections.
The woman who was recently cured left hospital after 17 days and didn’t experience graft or host disease, which is when donor cells attack the body of the transplant recipient. The patient’s doctor, Weill Cornell Medicine physician Dr JingMei Hsu, said the mix of cord blood and the cells from her relative may have counteracted the destructive side effects experienced by other bone marrow transplant recipients.
The president-elect of the International AIDS Society, Dr Sharon Lewin, told The New York Times that “it was previously thought that graft versus host disease might be an important reason for an HIV cure in the prior cases” but that the new revelations reject that notion.
The woman was diagnosed with HIV in June 2013. While antiretroviral drugs kept the issue under control, she received an acute myelogenous leukaemia diagnosis in March 2017.
In August that same year, she received cord blood from a donor with the HIV-blocking mutation. The blood from her relatives supported her immune system during the six weeks it took for the cord blood cells to become dominant. This meant that the transplant was much safer, according to Weill Cornell Medicine infectious diseases expert Dr Marshall Glesby.
“The transplant from the relative is like a bridge that got her through to the point of the cord blood being able to take over,” he told the paper.
The patient ended her use of antiretroviral therapy 37 months after the procedure. Over 14 months after that, there’s still no trace of HIV in her blood and she appears to have no antibodies to the virus.
While it remains unclear why cord blood is effective, the director of the transplant service at Weill Cornell, Dr Koen Van Besien, told the paper that it might be because cord blood is “adaptable”.
“These are newborns, they are more adaptable,” he said.
“Umbilical stem cells are attractive,” Dr Deeks added. “There’s something magical about these cells and something magical perhaps about the cord blood in general that provides an extra benefit.”
Jan. 28, 2022 — Human clinical trials have started for an experimental HIV vaccine that uses the same kind of mRNA technology found in Moderna’s successful COVID-19 vaccine, the drug company announced this week.
The first vaccinations were given Thursday at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC, the company said in a news release. Phase I trials will also be run at the Hope Clinic of Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
The vaccine is designed to prompt white blood cells to turn into antibodies that can neutralize HIV, ABC News reported. A booster shot to work with the HIV vaccine is also being studied.
For 4 decades, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has managed to dodge the immune system’s attempts to destroy it. Scientists have not been able to develop a vaccine, though they have made advancements in treatments, such as long-acting injectables for pre- and post-exposure prevention and treatment. HIV can lead to AIDS, which can be fatal.
The release said 56 healthy HIV-negative adults are taking part in the clinical trial, with 48 getting one or two doses of the mRNA vaccine and 32 also getting the booster. Eight people will just get the booster. All of them will be monitored for up to 6 months after receiving a final dose.
The immunogens — antigens that elicit an immune response — that are being tested were developed by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Scripps Research. They will be delivered using the same messenger RNA (mRNA) technology in Moderna’s successful COVID-19 vaccine, the news release said.
About 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV at the end of 2019, according to the CDC, with more than 36,000 people being diagnosed in 2019.
The World Health Organization says 37.7 million people in the world had HIV in 2020.
“We are tremendously excited to be advancing this new direction in HIV vaccine design with Moderna’s mRNA platform,” Mark Feinberg, MD, president and CEO of IAVI, said in the news release. “The search for an HIV vaccine has been long and challenging, and having new tools in terms of immunogens and platforms could be the key to making rapid progress toward an urgently needed, effective HIV vaccine.”
Officials say the flying car logged 70 hours of rigorous flight testing compatible with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards.
That means over 200 takeoffs and landings.
‘AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars,’ said Professor Stefan Klein, the inventor, leader of the development team and the test pilot.
‘It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever.’
Anton Zajac, the project cofounder, added: ’50 years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom. AirCar expands those frontiers, by taking us into the next dimension; where road meets sky.’
The AirCar uses a BMW engine and runs on regular petrol. It is capable of flying at 8,200ft at a speed of up to 170kph.
It took a team of 8 specialists over 100,000 manhours to create the vehicle, which transforms from car to plane in just under three minutes.
It has narrow wings that fold down and tuck inside the car for when it comes time to drive on the roads.
The car, which has been in development for the last five years, is capable of carrying two people with a combined weight of 200kg.
‘The Transportation Authority carefully monitored all stages of the unique AirCar development from its start in 2017,’ said Rene Molnar, the director of the Civil Aviation Division at the Transport Authority of Slovakia.
‘The transportation safety is our highest priority. AirCar combines top innovations with safety measures in line with EASA standards.
‘It defines a new category of a sports car and a reliable aircraft. Its certification was both a challenging and fascinating task,’ he said.
Will we see the AirCar making it to driveways and flight paths across the UK? Not for some time, we’re afraid.
The invention would still need to pass safety certification in this country and anyone that wanted to get behind the wheel would need both a driving licence and a pilot’s licence.
Not to mention very deep pockets, the prototype alone cost £1.7 million so a final production model likely won’t come cheap.
Did you know Dewji retired from Tanzania’s parliament in early 2015 after completing two terms. Dewji, who is known as Mo (short for Mohammed), launched Mo Cola several years ago to compete with Coca Cola.