Being Criminal Case No. 87 of 2003
HON. JUSTICE F.E. KAPANDA
Phiri (Mrs), Principal State Advocate
Maida (Ms), Official Interpreter
Sinalo, (Mrs), Court Reporter
Date of hearing
11th November 2004
Date of order
11th November 2004
ORDER IN CONFIRMATION
The Defendant, Harry Chimweta, appeared before the Mwanza First Grade Magistrate
to answer a charge of Robbery as provided for in Section 301 of the Penal Code. The particulars of the offence averred that the Defendant
robbed the complainant, W. Napala, a wrist watch. It was further alleged that immediately before or immediately before the time of
the said robbery the convict used or threatened to use actual violence to the said complainant in order to obtain or retain the said
wrist watch or to prevent or overcome any resistance from the said complainant.
The Defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge. Consequently there was full trial
of the criminal action.
From the witnesses who testified before the court the following facts are not disputed:
The Defendant was one time married to the complainant’s wife. As it were they
were on separation and the lady entered into another marriage with the complainant. It so happened that during night in question
the two men met at the lady’s house and a fight ensued. During the said fight the complainant lost his wrist watch. The complainant
then went to report to Mwanza Police that he had been robbed of a wrist watch by the Defendant. Hence, the arraignment before the
court and the conviction.
This court agrees with both the Reviewing Judge and the State that this conviction
is unsafe. The facts do not come anywhere near showing that the Defendant stole a wrist watch from the complainant. It is well to
remember that the two people were fighting over a woman and one of them lost a wrist watch. That is not robbery at all. It is unfortunate
that the complainant got confused and lost his wrist watch but that is not per se robbery. Accordingly, this conviction must be set
aside. It is so ordered. The Defendant is to be set at liberty unless he is being held for some other lawful reasons.
Pronounced in open Court this 11th November 2004 at the Principal Registry, Blantyre.