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Women, be role models to kids

WOMEN exert a lot of influence on children because they spend most of the time with or near them. In our formative years we are closer to our mothers than our fathers in the home and around the community.

As human beings grow they pick up character by observing and imitating what they see, hear and feel around them. This assimilation begins in the home where the mother spend a lot of time with the children.

So the character of a child is first influenced by those closest to it, and the mother is the first to come into the picture. For this reason, women should be wary of their behavior in the presence of children. Even when they are not at home young people, especially girls, look to them as models of what they want to be when they grow up. If women exhibit bad behaviour in the presence of children, the young ones will interpret it as the right conduct and may unconsciously or deliberately start imitating it. 

It is for this reason we are disappointed with the conviction of two grown-up sisters for shoplifting in Kapiri Mposhi.

The two sisters, who live in Kasama, were the other day sentenced to three months simple imprisonment for stealing 12 containers of cooking oil from Choppies Supermarket in Kapiri Mposhi district.

Angela Kanyanta, 29, a housewife and her younger sister, Mary Mwewa, 21, a Grade 12 pupil, both of Chief Mwamba in Kasama district, were convicted of theft by a magistrates’ court in Kapiri Mposhi.

It is a disgrace for two sisters to engage in crime, stealing commodities in a supermarket and sneaking them out while hiding them between their tighs.

Details of the two sisters crime are that between 14 and 16 April 2020, the two sisters jointly and whilst acting together stole 12 by two litre containers of cooking oil collectively valued at K815 the property of Choppies Supermarket in Kapiri Mposhi.

The woman and the girl readily pleaded guilty as charged. What is disappointing about this case is the failure by the older sister to provide leadership and set a good example for her younger sibling.

As a grade 11 pupil the girl still needs a lot of guidance from older members of society and the best to provide it are close family members. The girl needed guidance and leadership from her older sister, who is a housewife.

It is disgraceful for a married mother to lure her school-going younger sister into joining her to commit a crime. What she did was shameful and she is lucky that the court decided to suspend the sentence.

While we appreciate the desperate circumstances in which they were there was no justification for the two sisters to meet their immediate need by stealing from a department store.

Why didn’t they approach management and explained their situation? They could have asked for piece work so that they could raise transport money to travel back to Kasama.  The details of the two sisters theft are shameful,if not embarrassing.

According to the statement of facts, Choppies management while viewing and analysing the store’s CCTV footage on April 16 discovered that the sisters had been stealing containers of cooking oil from the supermarket’s shelves on three consecutive dates from 14 to 16 April 2020.

They had been stealing the commodity by hiding the containers in between their thighs and walking out from the shop while dressed in chitenge wrappers.

The two women were, however, arrested on April 17 after they were identified and spotted on the shop’s closed circuit television (CCTV) camera as they tried to steal two more containers of cooking oil using the same method.

For three days, they continued going back to the same shop and stole the same quantity of cooking oil. By now even a villager should be able to understand that there is CCTV in every big store to keep a close eye on shoppers.

In mitigation, the sobbing sisters told the court that they had resorted to shoplifting cooking oil from the chain store to sell it in order for them to raise transport money to travel back to Kasama after their relative abandoned them in Kapiri Mposhi some weeks ago.

They told the court that their relative, who had never been located to-date, abandoned them in Kapiri Mposhi while travelling to Kabwe for a funeral.

The two sisters also told the court they were stranded and had been sleeping at the bus station for some time now and needed to find means to go back to Kasama.

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