On May 28, 2024, the Kilombero District Court in Morogoro sentenced Leonce Athanas Matea, a 55-year-old farmer known as Alaji, to 30 years in prison for raping three children. Despite being sentenced to 90 years, the sentences will run concurrently, meaning he will serve 30 years.

The judgment was delivered by Magistrate Bestina Saning’o on May 27, 2024. She was convinced by the prosecution’s evidence, which left no doubt about Matea’s guilt in all three charges.

After the court found Matea guilty, the prosecutor, Police Inspector Thomas Kamsini, requested a severe punishment to serve as a deterrent to others who might commit similar crimes. Matea pleaded for a lighter sentence due to his age.

However, Magistrate Saning’o, after considering both sides, sentenced Matea to 30 years for each charge of rape. According to the law, the sentences will be served concurrently, meaning Matea will spend 30 years in prison.

Following the verdict, Matea was taken to Kiiberege Prison to begin his sentence. He had first appeared in court on November 24, 2023, facing three charges of raping three different children, whose identities are protected by law.

The first charge stated that between June 1, 2023, and November 16, 2023, in Chicago village, Kidatu Ward, Kilombero District, Morogoro Region, Matea raped a nine-year-old child. The second charge alleged that on the same date and location, he raped a 10-year-old child. The third charge stated that between November 1, 2023, and November 16, 2023, he raped a five-year-old child.

Matea denied the charges, but the prosecution called 12 witnesses, including the victims, to testify. Their testimony revealed that Matea lured the children into his house, raped them one by one, and then gave each of them 200 shillings.