THE Chipata Magistrates’ Court has jailed a 26-year-old man of Referendum compound 24 months for burglary and theft.
And a Drug Enforcement Commission officer yesterday narrated how he arrested three people who were trafficking in psychotropic substances at Chipata’s St Anne’s cemetery.
Chipata resident magistrate Boniface Mwala convicted and jailed Offman Zulu after he pleaded guilty to the charge.
Facts of the matter were that Zulu, a Lorry boy, broke into Victor Vumisa’s house and stole a bicycle and a blanket, all valued at K900. Police arrested Zulu on July 26, 2017. In mitigation, Zulu said he was drunk and that he did not know what he was doing.
Magistrate Mwala said Zulu deserved leniency because he was the first offender, who readily pleaded guilty to the charge without wasting the court’s time. He said Zulu was young and could easily reform. Magistrate Mwala, however, said the offence that Zulu committed was a felony and that the courts had the duty to protect the community from people like the convict.
He said he handed Zulu a 24-month sentence to deter would be offenders, who were scheming to commit similar offences.
In the same court, Rick Phiri, 35, an assistant security officer at DEC Chipata office, narrated how he apprehended Charles Njobvu, Clive Banda and Penjani Banda at St Anne’s Cemetery in May this year.
Phiri said after getting information from members of the public that there were some people who were dealing in drugs at the graveyard, he decided to go there where he apprehended the trio.
“When we went there, we found mourners but we managed to apprehend the suspects who were in a thatched shelter within the graveyard. We found a white sack under the same shelter containing 148 balls of cannabis after we conducted a search,” he said.
Phiri said the DEC officers later apprehended the suspects and detained them at Chipata Central Police Station.
In cross-examination, Clive Banda wondered why DEC officers only took the three of them to court when they apprehended four people, including Stanley Shawa.
After Phiri maintained that they only arrested three people, Clive applied to the court to check the occurrence book at Chipata Central Police Station to see how many people were arrested on May 31, 2017 regarding the same matter.
After the court granted him the application, the prosecutor, who went to check the OB book, said he could not trace it since the book they used was finished and that there was a new book.
The prosecutor asked for more time to look for the old book and asked for an adjournment.