The Itezhi Tezhi magistrate court has sentenced two pupils to six months community service for stock theft.
The two juveniles aged 17 and 18 years are in grade Seven and grade nine respectively and have been convicted for stealing four pigs valued at K2, 800.00 from Precious Muzyazhi.
The juveniles will serve their sentence at Itezhi Tezhi Social Welfare.
Itezhi Tezhi magistrates Munalula Mubita sentenced the duo of Shimbulo village in Chief Musungwa’s area of Itezhi Tezhi .
The juveniles who were accompanied by their guardians to court, were charged with one count of stock theft contrary to section 275(1) Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Facts of the case are that on 27 July this year, at Itezhi Tezhi in Itezhi Tezhi district the duo did steal four pigs valued at K2, 800, the property of Precious Muzyazhi.
“The pupils went to search for piece work in order to raise money for school fees and in the process they met a Mr. Kaumba who advised them that they could get fast money for their school fees if they delivered pigs to him from anywhere by any means instead of piecework” the court heard.
The court heard that after the advice the pupils struck a deal with Mr. Kaumba who made some down payment and promised to pay another K500 when the pigs where delivered to him.
“the pupils secured the pigs and drove them to the place they agreed with Mr. Kaumba but unfortunately Muzyazhi discovered that four pigs were missing in a pigpen and looked for them everywhere in the village and when she could not find them she reported to Itezhi Tezhi police” the court heard.
When the court asked the juveniles what their hobbies were, they responded that did not have any because they spend most of their time searching for piecework.
“We wanted to find money so that we can pay for our school fees. Our parents do not pay for our school fees” one of the accused juvenile told the court.
State prosecutors told the court the duo had no bonafide right of claim to the four pigs.
Itezhi Tezhi magistrate Munalula Mubita said he found the two juveniles guilty as charged upon their own admission.
In mitigation, social welfare officer Jackson Siwila said that the juveniles where first offenders and that they enjoyed school despite lacking sponsorship.
Mr. Siwila prayed to the court to exercise maximum leniency because they saved the court’s time by readily admitting the charge.
Mr. Siwila said that in order to help the pupils’ control their lives, the department of social welfare recommend that the duo be put on community service according to the Juvenile Act Chapter 53 of the Laws of Zambia.
And sentencing the duo magistrate Munalula Mubita said the court had taken into consideration the fact that the pupils did not waste its time and that above all the recommendation of the social welfare office.
Magistrate Mubita ordered that the juvenile be put on community service for six months with effect from 16 September 2014.
The magistrates further ordered that the juveniles should be reporting at the social welfare offices at 07 hours and work up to 13:00 hours from Monday to Friday.
He warned that failure to comply will force the court to consider an alternative sentence such as sending the offenders to a Juvenile reformatory facility in Katombora.