The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced UPND Kanyama Ward 10 Councillor Brighton Bilumba to one year six months imprisonment with hard labour for theft involving K53,600.

In this matter, Bilumba was facing one count of theft by servant contrary to section 272 and 277 of the penal code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia and had pleaded not guilty in April, last year.

Particulars of the offence were that Bilumba, 39, between December 2017 and January 2018 in Lusaka, being a person employed by the Local Government as a civic leader stole K53, 600 cash, the property of the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

He stole the said amount of money that was supposed to be paid to 13 people engaged by the Lusaka City Council to distribute bills for ground rates arrears on behalf of the Local Authority.

And when the matter came up for judgment, Monday, magistrate Felix Kaoma said the State had proved the case against Bilumba.

He said people in public office needed to be held accountable for their actions.

In mitigation, Bilumba said he was a father of six and was also looking after some orphans.

He added that he was also taking care of his old mother and was further constructing two mother shelters in his ward.

Magistrate Kaoma however sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour.

During trial, one of the witnesses Leonard Cheelo, had testified that Bilumba inflated the number of people that were supposed to be paid by LCC for distributing bills for land rates arrears on behalf of the local authority.

Cheelo said he submitted 13 names to Bilumba but he however discovered that 22 ghost names were included, among them his wife and two other councillors.