GRAVEYARD ROBBER JAILED
… Choma Man sentenced for stealing and selling grave yard posters
By Makokwa Clara Muyendekwa
The Choma magistrate court was left in shock after a man pleaded guilty to stealing and selling identification metal posters from St. Mawaggali grave yard.
In this matter, Navy Mponde aged 24 of Choma’s Zambia compound stood charged with trespassing at a burial place contrary to section130 of the Penal code of the laws of Zambia.
Brief Facts before the court are that the complainant Kalyanga Choolwe of Mukasa, who is a health inspector from Choma Municipal Council, received a report that unknown people were trespassing on graveyard removing identification posts in December 2021.
The Council then went to inspect and confirmed that sign posts were removed and reported to Shampande police post.
Police then instituted investigations and arrested the accused who took them to the graveyard where he stole the posters and demonstrated how he did it.
The buyer of the posters, Mark Chisanga led police to the recovery of 112 posters of which two were identified by two families.
Magistrate Muyambango Munukayumbwa then found the accused guilty on his admission and convicted him.
When asked by court where the buyer of the posters was, the date prosecutor explained that he had been excluded in the matter as he helped Police investigate the matter immediately after buying the items and reported to police.
In his mitigation, the convict asked for lenience of the court saying he had a pregnant wife and lives with a grandmother who is very old.
After revealing that he was paid K100 for the posters as scrap metal, the accused person said he resorted to get the posters due to hunger.
Magistrate Munukayumbwa considered that the accused person did not waste the court’s time as he admitted the charge and showed remorse.
“This is a peculiar charge you are facing, I am dealing with this for first time in my whole career where a human being goes to a sacred place and disturbs a resting place to earn a living,” said the magistrate in surprise.
” Considering that you are a first time offender and your youthfulness, I sentence you to 30 months imprisonment with hard labor effective from 29 December 2021 your day of arrest,” said Magistrate Minukayumbwa.
State Prosecutor Ebby Kahali made an application that in respect to the 112 posters recovered they be forfeited to the state and returned to the local authority which will advertise for them to be returned to the graves by families.
Persuant to CPC section 355, Magistrate Munukayumbwa granted the Prosecution the application.
According to a check by Daily Nation on the posters, a number of posters might be difficult to identify as writings have completed faded.