The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a former Zambeef employee to five years simple imprisonment for stealing over one million kwacha from her employer between October 17 and November 1, 2017.

Carol Tembo, who was a cashier at Novatek; a subsidiary of Zambeef, was charged with six counts of theft by a servant.

Tembo had received and receipted the money on different dates in October 2016 but did not bank it by giving it to Ama Guard, which was tasked with the responsibility of taking the money to bank.

Magistrate Felix Kaoma said the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.

But in mitigation, Tembo through her lawyer asked the court for leniency saying she was a first offender and also a bread winner in the family.

She said she was currently pursuing studies and convicting her would be traumatizing.

“The accused person is a first offender and also the loss of her job has extremely devastating circumstances on both the accused and her family. We plead for maximum leniency seeing the accused is still very young and all her life is still in front of her. The accused’s parents are both aged and being the first born in this family made her a bread winner sustaining the aging parents. She is also currently engaged in studies which if sent to prison will loose both the money and the time to pursue the studies,” she said.

But when delivering judgment, magistrate Kaoma convicted her to five years simple imprisonment.

“In the first count I sentence you to 18 months, count two 36 months, count three 60 months, count four 60 months, count five 24 months, count six 18 months simple imprisonments. All sentences will be served concurrently,” said magistrate Kaoma.