Government officer imprisoned
Luangwa, July 18, ZANIS —— A visiting Magistrate has sentenced a Public Service employee of Luangwa district to eighteen months imprisonment and suspended for twenty – four months for stealing 105 X 50 Kg bags of fertilizer valued at K18, 774 belonging to the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.
Magistrate Mukumba Phiri of Chongwe district sentenced Sylvester Simukoko a Community Development Assistant in the Department of Community Development in Luangwa district for stealing 105 X 50Kg bags of fertilizer meant for the vulnerable but viable farmers in the area.
Magistrate Phiri convicted Sylvester Simukoko aged 45 years to eighteen months imprison after Prosecutor, Bilima Chimbizgani read out the particulars of the offence in court about the stolen bags of fertilizer.
Particular of the offence were that Simukoko on the 21st December, 2012 at Chitope Sub Boma in Luangwa district being a person employed in the public service under the Department of Community Development did steal 105 X 50Kg bags of fertilizer valued at K18,774 which came to his position under the Food Security Pack Programme meant for the vulnerable farmers in his catchment area.
Simukoko was charged with a case of theft by public servant contrary to section 277 and 272 of the penal code cap. 87 of the laws of Zambia.
And in mitigation through his Legal Aid Lawyer, Bentry Banda, Simukoko pleaded with the court that he was the first offender, a father of thirteen children and that he was the only bread winner in the family.
In passing judgment, Magistrate Phiri said he understood his mitigation and was aware that he has lost his employment by virtue of his conviction and therefore gave him a suspended sentence so that he could go and reflect on what he did and also think of how he was going to keep his family.
Meanwhile Luangwa District Commissioner, Eunie Mumba has welcomed the verdict of the court and has warned that his office will not tolerate any public service employee who would want to frustrate government efforts in improving the well being of the people.
Mr Mumba said Sylvester Simukoko’s actions were uncalled for as he decided to benefit from the fertilizer that was meant for the vulnerable in society so that they improve their food security in homes.
He said the PF government wants to empower its people through such programmes like the Food Security Pack which is aimed at helping the needy people in society especially the elderly.
He said this in an interview with ZANIS after Mr Simukoko was convicted of stealing the fertilizer that came into his position by virtue of his employment.