Thieving twins, taxi driver jailed

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THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced twins and a taxi driver to 12 years imprisonment with hard labour for three counts of stealing from motor vehicles.
Before Magistrate Ruth Kapulo on Wednesday were Mubita Kabutu, Lloyd Kabutu and Samson Silungwe.
The three were initially jointly charged with a juvenile who readily admitted the charge and has since been dealt with accordingly while the trio pleaded not guilty, leading to their trial.
In the first count particulars of offence were that on August 4, 2018, the accused persons stole two laptops, K20, 190 cash, a driver’s licence, and a passport from a Nissan Hard Body registration number BAJ 1222 in Kabwata Township.
In count two, particulars of offence were that on the same date around the same time, they stole a battery, a laptop, electric cables and a drilling machine from a Toyota Spacio registration number ALB 1247 in the same area.
In the third count, particulars of offence were that on the same evening, they stole a woofer, amplifier and car mats from a Toyota Prado registration ABK 513, whose owner later apprehended the juvenile, after which the suspect led to the apprehension of the twins and the taxi driver.
Passing sentence, Ms. Kapulo said she had heard the trio’s mitigation that they were first offenders and that she exercised her lenience by sentencing them to 48 months imprisonment with hard labour on each count.
She said the sentences will run concurrently, meaning that they will only serve four years with effect from the date of their arrest last August.
“What you did was wrong and people’s property and motor vehicles must be protected. People must feel free to drive their motor vehicles anytime without being scared of being robbed. The offence of theft from motor vehicles has become prevalent in Lusaka and the law should take its course to deter would-be offenders,” Ms. Kapulo said.
She said although there was no direct evidence of an eye witness who saw them steal the items, the circumstantial evidence connecting the three to the offence was based on the juvenile’s confession that he acted with the three adults in committing the crime.
She said it was clear from all witnesses’ evidence that the juvenile was acting with adults who would later sell the stolen items.
Ms. Kapulo also said out of many male adults in David Kaunda Secondary School area, the juvenile only pointed at the Kabutu twins while out of many taxi drivers that operate at Katungu complex, the juvenile only identified Silungwe as the one who was driving the taxi they used when committing the offence.

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