A 30-year-old- man of Lilanda in Itezhi Tezhi district in central province has been handed a two year jail sentence for breaking into a government school and stealing property valued at K1,200.00
Africano Musabani, a resident of Lilanda East in Itezhi Tezhi allegedly broke into Itezhi Tezhi Primary school, a government property and stole six window frames valued at K1, 200.00 the Itezhi Tezhi magistrates court has heard.
The allegations against Musabani, a father of three are that on 29 January this year jointly and while acting together with unknown person broke into Itezhi Tezhi Primary school and stole window frames, the property of government valued at K1, 200.00
After four witnesses testified against Musabani, who opted to remain silent, he was found guilty.
In mitigation, Musabani pleaded with the court for maximum leniency saying he was a patient on drugs, a first offender and that he has three children to look after who would suffer if the court gave him a long jail term.
“Offences of breaking into buildings and committing a felony are on the increase in Itezhi Tezhi district. There is need to give deterrent sentences in order to reduce this vice. I therefore order you to serve two years jail term with had labour” Magistrates Munalula Mubita said.
In the same court, three men of Itezhi Tezhi district have been acquitted of stock theft involving a sheep valued at K700.00
Munkombwe Barack, 30, Ackson Lubinda, 48 and Mwanamuyaya Wedy, 48 of Itezhi Tezhi district in Central province were charged with one count of stock theft contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
Allegations against the trio were that on 10th December 2014 they stole one sheep the property of Shamazongo.
The court heard that on 10th December 2014, Shamazongo released his 10 sheep to graze in the bush near his home but around 15:00 hours he discovered that one sheep was missing and he later instituted investigations which led him to the arrest of the trio.
The court also heard that the trio was prime suspects in the case as they were found selling meat on the same day his sheep got lost.
In delivering judgment, Magistrate Munalula Mubita said most evidence adduced in court was that the trio where seen selling meat on the same day .
He said that there was no expert evidence from the prosecution side to confirm that the meat the trio was selling was that of sheep adding that an expert should have been engaged to ascertain what type of meat was being sold by the trio.
“The court is in great doubt as to whether the trio stole the sheep just because they were seen selling meat in the village. People are free to sell meat to whomever they want”, said the Magistrate.
Magistrate Munalula Mubita referred to the precedence of Phinius Tembo versus the State and also the People versus Makolwe.
“The prosecution has not produced any evidence to leave this court out of doubt. I therefore acquit you accordingly and you can go home.” Magistrates Munalula Mubita said.