A GRADE 12 pupil of Lusaka’s Ng’ombe Compound who stole planks belonging to Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili has been sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
The 20-year-old told the Lusaka Magistrates that he stole to the planks in order to sell them so he could buy new clothes for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
This is in a matter where, Lukama Masumba, of Ngombe compound was charged with theft.
Masumba between December 29, 2019 and January 2, 2020 stole planks valued at K1,350, the property of Godfridah Sumaili.
When the matter came up for plea before Chief resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale, Masumba pleaded guilty to the charge of theft.
When asked why he stole the planks, Masumba said he stole the planks with the intention to sell them at the market to raise money to buy new clothes that he would wear on the biggest days of the festive season.
Masumba’s reason for stealing the planks prompted Magistrate Mwale to caution him.
“It would have made sense if you wanted to raise money for school and not buying cloths for Christmas and new Year,” said Magistrate Mwale
Facts are that on the material day in December, Sumaili was renovating her house in Lusaka’s Kalundu area and she purchased building material among them planks and placed them under the care of Frank Kauzi prior to the renovations.
Whilst the renovations were on going the minister of National Guidance and religious affairs received a phone call from Kauzi on December 6,2019 informing her that he had caught Masumba stealing planks at her house.
Sumaili advised Kauzi to to report the matter to Ngombe police station.
Kauzi reported Masumba to the police station and a docket was opened.
During interrogations Masumba voluntarily admitted the charge under warn and caution.
When asked if the facts were correct the convict affirmed. Masumba told magistrate Mwale that he had nothing to add or subtract from the facts.
Masgistrate Mwale found Masumba guilty as charged and convicted him upon his own admission of guilt.
In his mitigation, Masumba begged the court for mercy. He said he was a Grade 12 and asked for a second chance to go back to school and complete his twelvth grade, in order to brighten his future.
“If l am sent to prison, my future will be ruined. I will not steal again. My mother was a maid but she has no employement now, I have to walk to school from Ng’ombe to Avondale.” Said Masumba
Handing down his sentence Magistrate Mwale said he considered the mitigation and that the convict was remorseful and has spent time in custody since December 2, 2019 and there fore deserved leniency.
“I hereby sentence you to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour, suspended for 18 months on a condition that you do not commit a similar offence,” ruled Magistrates Mwale.
Masumba will not spend any time in jail for theft unless he commits a similar offense within 18 months from the day of his sentencing.