Cooking oil, whisky land two men in jail

Two men have been jailed three years with hard labour for breaking into a shop and stealing cooking oil and alcohol, among other items.

Before Lusaka Magistrate N.C. Simahubi were Zacharia Kasamba ,31, Robson Banda ,20,David Kabai,22, and John Simfukwe,19, all of Lusaka’s Bauleni compound.

The quartet was facing one count of breaking into a building and committing a felony which is contrary to section 303 of the penal code 87 of the laws of Zambia.

It is alleged that on unknown date but either on June 22 or June 23, 2014 while acting together with intent to steal, Kasamba, Banda, Kabai and Simfukwe did break into the shop of Kamena Mpundu and stole eight by 20 litres of cooking oil, 30 by 20 bricks of cigarettes, three boxes of lotion, one box of Peter Tobacco and 12 brands of assorted Whisky and Brandy, all valued at K13, 908.

While Kasamba and Banda admitted the charge, Kabai and Simfukwe denied the charge.

Magistrate Simahubi entered plea of guilty in respect of Kasamba and Banda and entered a plea of not guilty in favour of Kabai and Simfukwe.

Particular of the offence before the court were that during the night of June 20,2014 the complainant Kamena Mpundu secured the shop before knocking off which is situated in Bauleni where he sells assorted goods .

The following morning, Mr Mpundu found that the shop was widely open and the door was tampered with.

When Mr Mpundu entered the shop, he realized that various items were stolen from his shop and the value was K13, 908.

A week after the incident, some of the accused sold cooking oil to Balama Simfuwe, a business lady in Bauleni and that led to the apprehension of the accused.

The matter was later reported to Woodlands Police station where Detective Inspector Chabala instituted investigations and formerly charged the suspects an offence of breaking into the shop.

Under warn and caution, suspects gave free and voluntary statements admitting the charge and they were arrested.

When the quartet appeared in court, Kasamba and Banda both understood the charge and admitted stealing the items.

Magistrate Simahubi said upon Kasamba and Banda’s own admission, he found them guilty of the offence.

In mitigation, Kasamba said that he was sick and that he was married adding that he had a child.

And Banda said he was epileptic and that he was also married with one child adding that there was no one to look after his child for it was only him who bought milk.

Passing sentence, Magistrate Simahubi said he had noted that both Kasamba and Banda were first offenders who readily admitted the charge.

He however said the offence the duo committed was serious and carried a heavy sentence.

Magistrate Simahubi said the complainant suffered a loss because of the theft.

He said he would give the convict heavy penalty looking at the value of the items to deter other would be offenders.

Kabai and Simfukwe will appear in court on August 11, 2014 for mention and August 20, 2014 for trial.