Court acquits two persons for shaky evidence

KAGERA: BUKOBA District Magistrate’s court has acquitted two persons who were charged with the offence of being in possession of 100 fishing seine nets worth 4.6m/-, which are suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully acquired.

In Criminal Case No 75/2022 William Daudi (1st accused) and Venance Malima (second accused), were jointly charged with the offence of being in possession of 100 fishing seine nets worth 4.6m/-, properties of Hamis Rulungu, which are suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully acquired.

During hearing of the case, the prosecution alleged that on diverse dates between September, 2021 and November 6th, 2021 at Rushala Fishing Camp in Bukoba DC, the first accused (Daudi), stole various properties including 400 litres of petrol, engine oil and 100 beach seine nets all valued at 8.1m/-, properties of Hamis Rulungu, which he later sold to second accused (Malima).

Both accused persons had denied the charges while the prosecution called four witnesses to establish the case.

Bukoba Senior Resident Magistrate, Mr Andrew Kabuka noted before passing judgment that the prosecution evidence was filled with contradictions and lacked enough strength to convince the court.

“Exhibit P1 (Certificate of Seizure) seems to have been endorsed on November 8th, 2021 while according to Exhibit D1 the search was conducted on November 7th, 2021. Also, PW2 (Edgar Deogratias) testified that the seizure was done on November 7th, 2021. In this aspect, the prosecution evidence was contradictory,” Mr Kabuka remarked.

The magistrate explained that in order for the court to make a conviction against an accused person in a criminal case, the prosecution evidence should be tight while any doubt goes to the benefit of the accused.

Adding…” Identification of stolen properties by colour alone is the weakest sort of evidence and the accused cannot be convicted on such evidence alone,” he said and acquitted both the accused persons.

He also ordered for the seized fishnets which were tendered by the prosecution as evidence   to be handed back to the 2nd accused (Malima).

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