—-A 19-year-old man of Makalachambwe area in Chief Kaingu’s area in Itezhi Tezhi district in Central Province has been jailed for 15 months for stealing empty maize bags.
Harold Mukakale, who was arrested on August 18, this year, stole 8×50 kg Food Reserve Agency (FRA) branded empty maize bags valued at K490 and used them to pack his own maize that he intended to sell to the agency.
Mukakale was charged with simple theft, an offence contrary to the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Responding to Itezhi Tezhi magistrates Munalula Mubita’s question in court as to why he stole the empty maize bags, Mukakale, who pleaded guilty to the offence said: “I stole the empty maize bags so that I could pack my own maize and sell them to the FRA”
Chibanga Luckson, the complainant in the matter, collected 80x50kg FRA- branded empty bags and store them in a secured an unfinished house and left for Lusaka for business but when he came back he could not find his empty maize bags prompting him to report the matter to Itezhi Tezhi police.
The Itezhi Tezhi police then instituted investigations which led to the recovery of only one empty maize bag and the arrest of Mukakale.
Mukakale readily admitted the charge and pleaded for court’s maximum leniency saying he was looking after an aged grandmother.
And Itezhi Tezhi magistrate, Munalula Mubita convicted him upon his own admission of the offence and ordered him to serve the 15 months jail term with effect from August 18 when he was arrested.