Civil servant, three others jailed over FISP

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Civil servant, three others jailed over FISP

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Chinsali, July 2, 2014, ZANIS…A 36-year-old civil  servant under the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health in Chinsali district has been jailed for 4 years with hard labour for theft of government subsidized  fertilizer and seed.

Appearing before Magistrate Shaderick Chanda for judgment yesterday was Jonathan Mukuka, 36, a Community Development Assistant based at Ilondola in Chinsali charged with three counts of theft contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Others convicted and jailed on the same charges are Elued Sikazwe, a Manager at Chinsali District Agriculture Co-operative Union (CDACU) and Sydney Mwamba a member of the Chinsali District Agriculture Committee (DAC) who were jointly charged with Mukuka on three counts.

Mukuka in count 2 was charged with an offence of theft by public servant Contrary to Section 272 Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

It is alleged that the four accused persons on December 16, 2012 jointly and whilst acting together did steal  50 x 50 kilograms of D-compound fertilizer meant for the vulnerable but viable farmers in Kabwangwe area of Chinsali district.

In count 3, Mukuka was jointly charged on one count of theft by public servant contrary to Section 272 Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

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Particulars of the offence were that Jonathan Mukuka between 16th December and 17th December, 2012 at Chinsali in Chinsali District of Muchinga province jointly and whilst acting together did steal 7 by 50 kilograms of D- compound fertilizer, and 11 by  10 kilograms of maize seed all valued at K4, 090 property that came into his possession by virtue of his employment meant for the vulnerable farmers of Nketani area.

In count 4, Mukuka was charged with one count of theft by public servant contrary to section 278 Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence were that Jonathan Mukuka on 17 December, 2012 in Chinsali district of Muchinga province jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown did steal 5 by 10 kilograms of beans, 12 by  50 kilograms of D-compound and 3 by 10 kilograms of maize seed all valued at K5, 100 property that came into his possession by virtue of his employment meant for the vulnerable farmers of Mufuchi area.

Mukuka pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Passing judgment, magistrate Chanda said the prosecution had proved the case beyond any reasonable doubt and that the court had found Mukuka and three others guilty as charged.

Magistrate Chanda said the offences committed by Mukuka and his co-accused persons were very serious adding that the courts will not take lightly any individual or entity that will be found frustrating government efforts aimed at uplifting the living standards of the ordinary citizens.

He said that he was therefore sending Mukuka to jail for 18 months with hard labour in respect to count 2 and another 18 months in count 3 while in count 4 the accused would serve 12 months with all the sentences running concurrently.

In Mitigation, Mukuka said he was HIV positive and was on Anti-Retroviral Therapy adding that he feared he would not be able to continue with his medication if he was given a custodial sentence.

Meanwhile, Sikazwe who was sentenced to four years imprisonment with hard labour about 8 months ago after pleading guilty to charges of being found in possession of K9, 410 cash money, which property was suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 (1) of the forfeiture of proceeds of crime Act Number 19 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia, was also given another 18 months imprisonment with hard labour after being found guilty on count 2, 3 and 4 along with Mukuka.

Mwamba , the third co-accused in the matter, was also sentenced to 48 months imprisonment with hard labour.

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