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HomeCourt News84 chickens thief jailed - as man denies stealing hospital wheelchair

84 chickens thief jailed – as man denies stealing hospital wheelchair

CHARLES MUSONDA writes

THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a 27-year-old caretaker to five months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing 84 live broiler chickens from his neighbour’s farm.

And a Lusaka man has denied stealing a wheelchair belonging to Kanyama Level One Hospital.

Before Magistrate Martha Miti on Thursday was Vincent Silombwana who also stole three chicken drinkers, three chicken feeders and a bottle of chicken growth vitamins from the farm belonging to Mr. Pride Mulonga. All the stolen items were valued at K5, 255.

Evidence before court was that Silombwana stole the chickens between February 11 and 12, 2019, after which he kept the live birds in his two roomed house next to Mr. Mulonga’s farm in Lusaka West.

The chickens were discovered by two men identified as David Banda and Simon Chishimba when they visited Silombwana’s house.

Asked about the discovery, the accused person told the duo that he was not aware of the chickens’ presence in his house because he only kept free range (village} chickens at his premises.

He further claimed that someone by the name of Kelvin Imasiku took the chickens to his house in the night when he was not there.

Passing judgment, Ms. Miti said she had no difficulties to connect Silombwana to the offence, which the State had proved beyond any reasonable. She said his story was an afterthought in which he contradicted himself.

In mitigation, Silombwana said it was the first time he had found himself in such a situation and asked for the court’s lenience on grounds that he was the only child looking after his father and his ailing mother.

“As we are talking now, my mother is sick. My wife has a three months old baby and she is equally sick,” Silombwana said.

But in her sentence, Ms. Miti said Silombwana knew what he was doing and he founded his whole business on proceeds of crime.

“You showed no remorse because even after you were discovered, you made more attempts to conceal the chickens. You can’t go scot free. The only way to punish you is to give you a custodial sentence and I therefore sentence you to five imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date of your arrest,” Ms. Miti said.

In the same court, a 25-year-old unemployed man of Lusaka’s Makeni area, identified as John Molaya, pleaded not guilty to one count of stealing a wheelchair worth K1, 800 from Kanyama Level One Hospital on February 24, 2019. Trial starts on May 23, 2019.

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