Ex-workers deny stealing tobacco worth K834, 113

FIVE former employees of a tobacco processing company accused of stealing 588 bales of unprocessed tobacco worth K834, 113 have denied the charges.

The former employees of Tombwe Processing Limited are Dauzeni Phiri, 40, Banjamin Mwanza, 28, Andani Mutambo, 33, Victor Mungimba, 44, and Nebert Sichone, 38.

They are charged with one count of theft by servant contrary to section 272 and 278 of the laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence are that between March 25, and December 30, 2013 jointly and whilst acting together they stole 588 bales of under-proceeded tobacco worth K834, 113, a property of Tombwe Process Limited.

They denied the charge before Lusaka Magistrate Muzambalika  Simwatachela.

The case has been adjourned to December 3, 2014 for commencement of trial.  And a suspect yesterday took to his heels shortly after being discharged but for the alert police officers who gave chase and re-arrested him a few metres from the Lusaka magistrates court.

Mr Michael Simwinga, who was discharged on the offence of breaking into a building, yesterday ran for freedom but his liberty was short-lived when police pursued him with the intention of re-arresting him. This was after Simwinga appeared before Resident Magistrate Prince Mwiinga for mention.

Magistrate Mwiinga informed Simwinga that he was being discharged but that he could be arrested on a fresh charge.

After the discharge, Simwinga made his way out of the court room and then bolted towards the car park.

Simwinga, who was on bail, ran through multitude of people within the court premises and reached the car park.

Police officers gave chase and fired warning shots in the air to stop Simwinga from escaping, but he instead increased his pace and managed to exit the court premises through the main gate.

Passers-by joined police in the chase and caught Simwinga within University of Zambia Ridgeway campus hostels area.

The crowd beat up Simwinga and attempted to strip him naked before police bundled him into a vehicle and sped off.