THE Chingola Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a general worker to three years imprisonment with hard labour for stealing 14 pieces of copper cathodes worth K30,000.
Senior resident magistrate Davies Chibwili convicted Dynacious Mulenga, 37, of Chiwempala in Chingola after finding him guilty of theft by servant.
Delivering judgment, Mr Chibwili said the court would not rest in punishing law-breakers.
“I find you guilty and convict you accordingly. Jobs are hard to find, hence you needed to guard it jealously, but you opted to steal from your employer. People who do not have jobs are suffering to find jobs. This crime is increasing in the district and as a court, we will not relent until all law-breakers are punished.
“I have heard your mitigation and that you are a first offender, and you are entitled to leniency. But I will punish you to deter would-be offenders,” Mr Chibwili said.
Particulars of the offence are that on April 2 this year in Chingola, Mulenga stole 14 pieces of copper cathodes from Copa Investments, where he was employed as a general worker.
During trial, the court heard that Mulenga’s co-accused, Benson Mulenga, who was turned into a State witness after amending the charge, admitted committing the crime and later testified against the convict.
The court heard that on the date in question, Mulenga was seen removing the cathodes and throwing them outside the company premises and when he was approached by his friend, he responded that he was only getting his benefits.
The court also heard that Mulenga sold the cathodes to a scrap metal dealer in Chiwempala at K8,200 and stopped reporting for work until he was arrested.
None of the cathodes in question have been recovered.
In defence, Mulenga, who opted to speak on oath, said the witnesses falsely implicated him in the case.
In mitigation, Mulenga begged the court to exercise maximum leniency because he had learnt his lesson.
“Your honour, I am asking for leniency. I have children and I take care of my aged grandmother. Your honour, my children will suffer if you send me to prison because I am the one who provides food for them,” he said.
Magistrate Chibwili also wondered why the scrap metal dealer who bought the copper cathodes was not arrested because he was Mulenga’s collaborator.
“The one who bought the copper [should] also have been arrested because I am sure he knew that the accused stole what he was selling, or maybe they were accomplices. He would have been given a different charge,” he said.