When a Tanzanian court clerk appealed against his conviction and sentence for corruptly demanding payments from a would-be litigant at court, he did not realise that his faulty sums would help confirm his guilt. What Judge Amour Khamis would later describe as ‘unstable arithmetic’ convinced the court that there was no truth in the explanation given for the payments and that conviction and sentence should be confirmed.
No-one seems to have warned the accused in this case that faulty arithmetical calculations might actually help prove commission of a crime. For Jackson Mrefu it was a slip that was fatal to his case. It lost him his appeal against four counts of corrupt transactions, contravening Tanzania’s Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act.