The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a 19-year-old man of Bauleni Compound to one year imprisonment with hard labour for stealing four pairs of trousers valued at K550.

Particulars of the offense were that Thomas Tembo, unemployed, on August 20, this year, did steal four pairs of trousers altogether valued at K550, property of Tasila Mumba.

Facts of the matter are that on the material day, the complainant, Tasila Mumba, just finished washing her husband’s clothes and put them on the line to dry and went inside the house.

After some time, around 12:00 hours, Mumba came out of the house and as she looked towards the line, she saw Tembo removing the trousers from the line.

When Tembo saw her, he ran away, which prompted Mumba to shout for help and was helped by a passer-by who apprehended him and later took him to Bauleni Police Post.

“That’s how passer-by helped her to chase the accused person and he was caught with four trousers. He was then apprehended and taken to Bauleni Police Post where she reported the matter and valued the trousers at K550. Detective Sergeant Phiri took up the matter and interviewed the accused person who was now in custody, but did not give him a satisfactory reply. He later warned and cautioned the accused person in Nyanja. He gave a free and voluntary reply admitting the charge. He was later charged and arrested and the four trousers were kept as exhibit,” read the facts.

When the matter came up before Magistrate Felix Kaoma, Monday, Tembo pleaded guilty to the charge and admitted that the facts were correct.

Asked what he wanted to do with the trousers, Tembo said he wanted to start wearing them.

“I just got them from the line and that’s when they saw me. I wanted to start wearing them,” Tembo said.

In mitigation, Tembo said he stayed with his grandmother and sister, and he was the one providing food for them.

“I stay with my grandmother and my sister. I just do piece works and provide food for home. And my grandmother doesn’t know that I’m here,” he said.

Passing judgement, Magistrate Kaoma noted that Tembo had not wasted the court’s time by pleading guilty.

He further noted that the convict deserved some leniency and sentenced him to 12 months’ imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date of arrest.

And Magistrate Kaoma warned Tembo to be a good boy when he was out of prison by not reaping where he did not sow.

“I have considered the mitigation and also noted that the convict is the first time offender and has pleaded guilty, thereby, not wasted the court’s time. However, the convict still deserves some leniency. I sentence you to 12 months’ imprisonment with hard labour with effect from date of arrest. 12 months only, but when you come out, you should be a good boy. Thou shall not reap where you did not sow,” ruled Magistrate Kaoma.