Chinsali, January 16, 2014, ZANIS…A 34 year old church pastor of Chinsali district in
Muchinga province has been sentenced to four years imprisonment with hard labour for stealing
81 bags of fertilizer valued at over K19,000.00
The Chinsali Magistrates court has convicted pastor Ontario Shimulundu who yesterday
pleaded guilty to one count of stealing the fertilizer contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
Pastor Shimulundu appeared before Chinsali Magistrate Shaderick Chanda this
morning for written facts and sentencing.
Pastor Shimulundu of Chandamali village who is also manager for Chinsali district
Cooperative Union is charged with one count of theft by servant contrary
to section 278 and 272 of chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Facts before the court were that on 2nd January 2014, Pastor
Shimulundu stole 81 x 50 kilo gram bags of Urea and D compound fertilizer
valued at K19, 845 meant for vulnerable but viable famers in Chinsali district.
The statement of facts further stated that 24 bags out of the 81 x 50
kg bags of fertilizer valued at K5, 880 have since been recovered.
The court found Pastor Shimulundu guilty upon his own admission of guilt.
In passing judgment, Magistrate Chanda said the action by Pastor
Shimulundu was meant to deprive other farmers from benefiting
from the farming inputs therefore promoting hunger in various
Magistrate Chanda added that the disappearance of the inputs would not
have benefited the farmers hence shifting the blame on the government.
He said the convict should have realized that it was wrong to commit
such an act.
Magistrate Chanda said he had heard all what the convict had said in
his mitigation but that due to the increase in number of such cases in
Chinsali he had no option but to prescribe a custodial
sentence in order to deter other wound-be offenders.
He said he was sentencing Pastor Shimulundu to 48 months imprisonment
with hard labour.
The magistrate further ordered that the recovered 24 bags of fertilizer should be
redistributed by the ministry of agriculture and livestock in the district and that a
report should later be submitted to the court.
In mitigation, Pastor Shimulundu pleaded for leniency from the court
saying that he was a bread winner taking care of his sick mother,
orphans, a wife and his two children.
He further pleaded that he was a first offender.