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Zomba Court Acquits Two Brothers Accused Of Stealing Motorcycle

The Principal Resident Magistrate Court sitting at Zomba has acquitted two brothers, Dyton Masala and Yamikanj Masala of theft contrary to section 271 as read with 282(h) of the Penal Code.
The two were arrested in October 2022 as it was alleged that they had stolen a LIFO motorcycle valued at K880,000, property belonging to Mr Blessings Newa.
When arrested, the duo sought legal aid and when granted they were represented by Senior Legal Aid Advocate Chibamahara Msyale with assistance from Tiyamike Kamtukule.
Both Dyton and Yamikani denied the charge in Court, prompting the prosecution to parade two witnesses, the motorcycle owner and a police detective.
Newa testified that he had employed the Dyton to be operating the motorcycle as a taxi. However, after falling sick, Dyton gave his brother Yamikani the motorcycle to operate without informing the owner.
While Yamikani was operating the motorcycle taxi one evening, he took two passengers on board and after dropping them at Mulunguzi Secondary School, they assaulted him and made away with the motorcycle.
The incident was reported to Zomba Police and the two brothers assured Newa that they would look for the motorcycle. They were subsequently arrested.
In their defence, Dyton showed the Court that he had consent from Newa to have possession of the motorcycle, whilst the Yamikani obtained consent from the brother. This eliminated the elements of theft.
In its ruling, the Principal Resident Magistrate Court agreed with the defence that the owner was already aware of who had his motorcycle, hence the suspects could not be charged with theft.
The Court further indicated that the State had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the charge against the accused persons thus leading to their acquitt.
Legal Aid Bereau
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