Man with three wives steal to fend for family

Lusaka High Court

A KALOMO businessman has been sentenced to one-year imprisonment with hard labour by the Choma Magistrate’s Court for stealing a grinding mill worth K5,000 while the owner was attending a prayer meeting on Good Friday.
In sentencing Hamuluwa Moomba, 36, chief resident magistrate Willie Sinyangwe said it was unacceptable for the convict to fend for his three wives by stealing from God-fearing people.
In this case, Moomba, of Mawaya township, who was jointly charged with two others, was facing two counts of theft.
Particulars are that on unknown dates but between April 3 and 6 this year, in Choma, Moomba, Brian Machula, 30, a taxi driver of Magrimond, and Foreman Munkombwe, 33, a farmer of Habulile Basic School, all of Kalomo, jointly and while acting together allegedly stole a hand grinding mill worth K5,000, the property of Comfort Mudenda.
In count two, it is alleged that on April 1 this year, in Choma, the trio, jointly and while acting together, allegedly stole a hand grinding mill worth K1,200, the property of Zenu Mudenda.
When the matter came up for plea before magistrate Sinyangwe, Moomba pleaded guilty to the first count, while Munkombwe and Machula denied both charges.
Facts are that on the material day, Mr Mudenda secured his house and went to church to attend a prayer meeting on Good Friday.
When he returned home the following morning, he noticed that the grinding mill was missing.
He was later tipped by members of the public that they had seen Moomba selling the said property.
Mr Mudenda trailed and located Moomba whom he found looking for a customer. The accused was apprehended and taken to Dundwe Police Post, where he admitted having committed the offence.
In mitigation, Moomba asked the court to exercise leniency because he is a breadwinner and married to three women.