Headlamp theft lands two in jail

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CHARLES MUSONDA writes

TWO men have been sentenced to five months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing a headlamp worth K450.

Before Lusaka Magistrate Martha Miti on Thursday were Patson Chirwa and Charles Chitupa who both pleaded guilty to one count of theft.

In sentencing the duo, Ms. Miti observed that theft of headlamps had become rampant and there is need to punish culprits to deter would-be offenders.

Facts before court were that on April 4, 2019, the complainant safely parked his Mitsubishi Pajero at his workplace and while in his office, he received a report that a security guard had apprehended Chirwa and Chitupa for stealing the headlamp from his motor vehicle.

Upon being interviewed by the police, the two gave a free and voluntary reply admitting the charge. The duo did not have a claim of right to the property.

In mitigation, Chirwa told the court that he did not remove the headlamp from the vehicle but that it was a finished one he found lying around at his workplace.

He said he did not know that his finding of the headlamp lying idle would reach an extent of his court appearance.

Chirwa said he did not deny getting the headlamp and that he has a child, adding that he did not know how his family would survive if given a custodial sentence.

And Chitupa mitigated that he looks after his sibling’s daughter and that he has learnt a lot of lessons in remand custody. He added that conditions in prison are bad.

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