Nchelenge crooks jailed for illegal power connections

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Nchelenge crooks jailed for illegal power connections

Nchelenge, Feb23/13/ZANIS——The Nchelenge magistrate’s court in Luapula province has jailed three men for fraudulent appropriation of electricity.

Before magistrate Seliya Kanunka were 50-year-old Derrick Mweengwe of Musama Village,   Abraham Mulenga, 45, and Evaristo Kombe, 30, both of Chibule village all of chief Mununga’s area in Nchelenge district.

Magistrate Kanunka sentenced Mweengwe and Kombe to 48 months imprisonment each with hard labour for illegally connecting five houses to the Zesco power supply line.

The magistrate also handed Mulenga a 30 months jail term with hard labour for illegally connecting two grass thatched houses to the Zesco supply line.

The three were charged with, “fraudulent appropriation of power contrary to Section 290 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia”.

Facts before the court were that the trio, between January 1, 2012 and   February 8, 2013, at Chibule and Musama villages in Nchelenge district of Luapula province, jointly and whilst acting together with other unknown persons, unlawfully and fraudulently did abstract and divert electricity supply, the property of Zesco Limited.

The trio pleaded guilty to the charge.

“I find you guilty as charged and I therefore convict you accordingly to 48 months imprisonment with hard labour in respect of Mweengwe and Kombe, and 30 months jail term in respect of Mulenga” said magistrate Kanunka in passing judgement.

“I wish to state that electricity can be dangerous especially with illegal connections which may cause a lot of harm to many people. I can only hope the convicts have learnt a lesson that crime does not pay,” magistrate Kanunka said.

The three were dragged to court by Zesco management at the Nchelenge district office for fraudulently tapping power from the ZESCO supply line.