A KABWE man who has been sued by his wife for allegedly stealing 1,000 bags of mealie meal has pleaded not guilty stating that he got involved in his spouse’s business because she was a foreign national who is not eligible to run the business.
Benjamin Sikazwe is facing a charge of theft.
He informed Kabwe Magistrate Chimuka Mutafela that he sold the 1,000 bags of mealie meal and reinvested the money towards the purchase of maize but failed to produce receipts to support his evidence.
Sikazwe is accused of stealing the bags of maize on April 13, this year, property of Jane Mukeba. The commodity was discovered to have been sold to a Somali at Kasumbalesa border on the Copperbelt.
Mukeba told the court during trial that the mealie meal was stolen and sold to the foreigner by her husband.
Mukeba narrated how she asked her husband to assist in monitoring the loading of the bags from Glancy Milling but was shocked that the goods were sold without her knowledge.
She said the mealie meal was supposed to be transported to his brother who was supposed to sell because he had a registered company and that she had been conducting her business independently and was not in any partnership with her husband.
During defence, Sikazwe maintained that he did not steal the mealie meal as he was in a partnership with his wife.
“Your honour I did not steal the mealie meal because my intention was to sell and to buy maize and besides I was the boss of the company, we were running because my wife cannot run the business as she is a foreigner,” he said.
The State then filed in a written submission requesting the court to convict the accused considering that the crime had been committed and that it was clear the couple were not in a partnership.
Judgment has been set for next month.