THE Ndola Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a farmer of Mupaka village in Masaiti to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing 40 railway line sole plates from Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL).
Magistrate Monica Mutinta on Monday, convicted George Chilima, 35, after he pleaded guilty to theft.
Particulars of the offence are that on January 5, this year, in Ndola, Chilima stole 40 ZRL sole plates, altogether valued at K920.
Facts read in court were that on June 6, this year, around 10:00 hours, Blessing Sakayola, a permanent way inspector at ZRL, reported that a ZRL police officer Wilson Banda, informed him that they had recovered railway sole plates from the accused’s house. The stolen items were surrendered to Kafulafuta police post.
The court also heard that Mr Sakayola then rushed to the police post and identified the railway sole plates as belonging to ZRL.
Chilima was apprehended in connection with the theft and the recovered railway sole plates were kept as exhibits for the court.
In mitigation, the accused pleaded with the court for leniency stating that he was remorseful for his actions and was the breadwinner of his family.
“On your own admission of the offence, I find you guilty as charged, and I accordingly convict you.
“I have also taken your mitigation into consideration. I sentence you to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date you were arrested,” magistrate Mutinta said.
She granted Chilima leave to appeal to the High Court within 14 days.