FAUSTINE KAPAMA Daily News; Wednesday,December 19, 2007 @00:02 Also in the News Poor clinch climate change deal Special tri-cycles for Health Centres Moshi Rural constructs 228 classrooms Serengeti refutes tender nullification reports Std 7 pupils in mass failures Appeal court doubles jail term for armed robbers 5.7bn/- injected in Pangani basin management programme Kagera authorities warn road contractor Losurutia for burial in Kiteto CCM to mark Tabora decision THE Court of Appeal has doubled to 30 years jail term passed by a District Court in Mtwara Region against three people who were convicted of armed robbery for stealing three sacks of cashewnuts weighing 160 kilogrammes in 2000. Justices John Mrosso, January Msoffe and Simon Kaji dismissed the appeal by Stuart Yakobo who was challenging both conviction and sentence confirmed by Judge Salome Kaganda at the High Court at Mtwara on September 8, 2002. The dismissal of the appeal by Yakobo apparently affected his co-convicted robbers, Celestine Mandele and Raphael Machemba, who did not appeal against their 15-year-jail term which was upheld by the High Court. Appeal Court justices invoked their revisional powers under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act and quashed the sentence passed against all convicts and substituted it with 30 years. They said the convicts were serving illegal sentence of 15 years since at the time the offence was committed on October 15, 2000, the enactment of laws governing commission of robbery offences were operational. The cited laws which include Miscellaneous Amendments Act No 6 of 1994, that came into effect on March 18, 1994 and the Minimum Sentence Act of 1972 as amended by Act No. 10 of 89 and Act No. 6 of 1994. Under the laws, whoever is convicted of robbery using offensive weapon in the company of one or more people at time of committing the offence and caused injury to a victim was liable for 30 years imprisonment. In his appeal, Yakobo had told the Appeal Court that there was no sufficient evidence to prove his involvement in committing the crime. He alleged that the evidence of identification relied upon was not sufficient to lead to his conviction. However, the justices said that the identification of the convicts was water tight as they were identified visually using firelight and by voice. They said those who identified the convicts knew them before the incidence and had stood at a close range. With the above evidence, they said they found no basis in faulting the trial District Court and the High Court in their concurrent findings of facts on visual identification. We are satisfied that the appellant (Yakobo) was rightly convicted by the trial court, a decision which was justifiably upheld by the High Court. We dismiss the appeal against conviction, the justices ruled. Armed with machetes, on October 15, 2000, Yakobo and his co-convicts invaded the house of John Raphael and Marisela Shaibu, who were sleeping at around 1.00pm and demanded to be given the sacks of cashewnuts. They attacked the man until he lost consciousness and left with the bags. The Moral of the Story Next time, don't appeal just go and serve your sentences!