A 23-year old Grade 11 pupil in Kapiri Mposhi has been sentenced to 9-months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing three pieces of chitenge material worth k80.
Before Magistrate Brenda Chiganda was Joseph Simukanze who readily pleaded guilty for stealing three pieces of chitenge material property of Maureen Mumba of Matiliyo compound.
Facts before court were that on August 28, 2014 Joseph Simukanze did steal three chitenge materials contrary to section 272 of the penal code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.
Simukanze stole the chitenge materials after the plaintiff had washed and hanged them on the line at her home.
He was apprehended by some members of the public and some neighbours who saw him removing the clothes from Mumba’s line.
Simukanze was later taken to police where he was formerly charged and arrested.
In mitigation, Simukanze said he was forced to steal the chitenge in order to sell them and raise money for his school fees stating that he had no one sponsoring his education.
He pleaded for lenience since he was a first offender.
“When am jailed no one will be concerned because my parents are very poor… I will miss classes and next year I’m sitting for my grade 12 exams”, Simukanze said.
But in passing judgment, Magistrate Chiganda said it was good that the accused was concerned about his education but stated that it was wrong for Simukanze to deprive other people of their property through theft.
Magistrate Chiganda added that the accused should have sought other legal avenues such as a piece work to raise school fees.
She observed that cases of theft have become rampant in Kapiri Mposhi and that the court should mete-out punishment to deter would be offenders.