THE desire of `keeping up appearances` has earned eight women cashiers at a supermarket in Kitwe prison sentences of up to three years for stealing K600,000.
Kitwe Resident Magistrate Malota Phiri sentenced the eight women to prison sentences ranging from four months to three years for stealing from their employer, Super Save Supermarket.
Tokozani Mbawa, 25, Veronica Mumba 36, Emmy Chewe 29, Wonder Mundia 25, Mwila Mwansa 29, Anne Mulenga 22, and Mwansa Bwalya 34, all lost their freedom yesterday.
Cynthia Mbewe, 31, was also jailed in absentia as she is on the run together with her sureties.
Tokozani stole K197, 250 cash between January 1, 2014 and August 2, 2015 while Veronica helped herself with K108, 588 between January 1, 2014 and August 2, 2015.
The two will serve three years in a correctional facility.
Emmy who was the third accused stole K52,400 between January 1, 2014 and August 2, 2015 and she will spend the next one year behind bars.
Wonder pilfered K35,300 while Mwila got K29,300 for which they will serve one year each.
Anne will also serve one year for stealing K228,465.25 while Mwansa who got the least amount will go to the correctional service for four months. She stole K5,357 from her employer.
The magistrate said Cynthia has a three-year term hanging on her head which she would serve from the date she will be arrested for stealing K32,500.
Mr Phiri said it was indisputable that in June 2015 management at Super Save discovered that there was a drastic drop in sales which prompted an inquiry.
Management discovered unusual refunds did not tally with the sales.
He said he was satisfied that the cashiers stole the money and were making unusual refunds to disguise the theft.
But the magistrate noted that it was unfortunate that none of the supervisors were charged for the offence because they authorised the fake refunds.
Mr Phiri also ordered that K60,860 that was recovered from various accounts of the women be returned to Super Save Supermarket.