TWO men of Livingstone have been jailed five years each with hard labour for breaking into a building and committing a felony.
Appearing on Wednesday before Livingstone Magistrate Willie Sinyangwe for facts was Phinias Muchindu, 22, and Adam Siamitwe, 24, both Livingstone residents.
The duo pleaded guilty to one count of breaking into a building and committing a felony contrary to the laws of Zambia.
Particulars before court were that on 10th March 2016 in Livingstone, Mr. Ernest Mulenga as Airtel regional manager did secure three bicycles, 150 airtel pay phones, 77 by 5 litres of paints, 11 by 5 litres of thinner at the company’s warehouse in Dambwa North area valued at K82, 870, the property of Airtel Zambia.
But on March 29, 2016, when Mr Mulenga went to the warehouse to collect the items, he discovered that the door to the entrance of the warehouse was broken into and all the items which were secured in there were stolen.
The particulars further read that upon realizing that property was stolen, Mr. Mulenga reported the matter to Dambwa North police post and after investigations, Muchindu and Siamitwe were arrested in connection with the offence and were charged with the subject offence.
The duo under warn and caution admitted the charge and led the police to the place where three bicycles, 58 airtel pay phones, 61 by 5 litres of paints, 11 by 5 litres of thinner valued at K33, 820 was recovered while the remaining items were not recovered.
After the brief facts were read, the accused pleaded guilty to the charges. Magistrate Sinyangwe said, “Upon your own admission of the facts as being correct, I find you guilty of the offence and I hereby convict you accordingly. I, however, note that you are first offenders who readily admitted the charge without wasting the court’s time”.
In mitigation, Muchindu and Siamitwe both asked the court for forgiveness adding that they were first offenders who have learnt a lesson the few days they had been remanded in custody.
And in passing sentence, Magistrate Sinyangwe said as much as he would have loved to forgive the convicts, he found it problematic because he was neither the complainant nor Airtel Zambia but the people of Zambia.
“The offence you committed is a serious one and deserves serious punishment…the reason is simple, when people decide to break into a building in the night, it means they are ready for anything. In Livingstone these cases are common where security guards have been brutally murdered.
“Therefore I will try and discourage this and I hereby sentence you to five years each in jail with hard labour. I further grant you leave to appeal in the High Court within 14 days if you are not happy with your conviction,” he said.