Lilongwe woman not guilty of theft

The First Grade Magistrate Court in Lilongwe has acquitted Chisomo Kagula, who was facing charges of theft by a servant.

It was alleged that on 23 June 2023 at Chinsapo 2, being a servant employed by Barend Esterhuizen as a Hello Paisa agent, Kagula stole MK457,500, the property of her employer.

Kagula requested legal aid, and upon being granted, she was represented in Court by Principal Legal Aid Advocate Janet Mkomera, with support from Assistant Legal Aid Officer Levison Seyani. Kagula pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against her.

During the trial, the state paraded three witnesses, and after she was found with a case to answer, Kagula presented her defense by calling two witnesses, including herself.

In her final submissions, the Bureau's Counsel informed the Court that there was no theft by a servant, as the accused had been robbed of the money that was in her custody, and she had not used the money for her own benefit. Therefore, she should be set free.

It was heard in Court that on the night of June 23, 2023, the accused's house was broken into, and the money was stolen. State witnesses confirmed that when they visited Kagula's house, the door had indeed been broken.

His Worship First Grade Magistrate Chakaka Nyirenda pointed out that, upon weighing the evidence presented, it was unclear whether the accused had stolen the money or if someone else had entered her house and taken it. According to the Court, in criminal cases, guilt ought to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

"Where there are two conflicting conclusions, a Court cannot enter a conviction," Nyirenda added.

The Court ruled that the lost money could be recovered through other means, and as a result, Chisomo Kagula was acquitted of the charges.

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