A TAXI DRIVER of Lusaka’s Matero compound has been sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour for stealing a motor vehicle valued at K20,000.
Mickson Daka was convicted after Lusaka acting chief resident magistrate Kenneth Mulife found him guilty of theft of a motor vehicle.
The allegation was that Daka and Dunken Katayi, also a taxi driver, on September 22, 2015, in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown, stole a Toyota Corolla registration number ABC 708 valued at K20,000, the property of Aaron Mulena.
When the case came up for plea, the duo denied the charge.
But Mulena, during trial, told the court that he employed Katayi to operate the vehicle as a taxi and that he was at liberty to park it where he deemed fit.
He said that on the material day, Katayi informed him that the vehicle was stolen from Daka, who was using it that day.
The court heard that Katayi had given the vehicle to Daka to conduct business on his behalf since the two were friends.
Mulena said Katayi told him that two men had grabbed the vehicle from Daka around 02:00 hours at Matero filling station after hiring it.
Daka told the court that he was hired by two strange men at Mike’s Car wash on Kafue Road so that he could take them to Makeni and Matero.
He said when they reached Ody’s Filling Station, he was ordered to surrender the vehicle at gunpoint by one of the men who hired him.
Daka told the court that there was no person around to help him and that after the thieves drove away together with his mobile phone, Daka went to report the theft to Matero police.
Magistrate Mulife established that Daka did not report the case to the police because the police officer who was on duty denied having received that complaint.
He said the prosecution proved their case beyond reasonable doubt in respect of Daka.
Magistrate Mulife convicted Daka but acquitted Katayi, saying he didn’t find evidence linking the latter to the theft.
After mitigation, the court said the offence committed attracted a minimum jail sentence of five years.
Daka was sentenced to five years imprisonment with effect from the day of arrest.