A journalist has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that a sales assistant at his MTN Mobile Money booth who allegedly stole his K28,000, claimed he lost the said money through black magic.

In this matter, Benny Kalonga, unemployed, of Kalingalinga Compound is charged with theft by servant.

Particulars of the offence are that on January 31, 2019 in Lusaka, Kalonga, whilst employed as sales man at an MTN booth, stole K28,000 for his employer, Ceaser Masina.

And when the matter came up for plea before Magistrate Victoria Chitulangoma, Thursday, Kalonga denied the charge.

The State then called it’s first witness, the complainant in the matter, Ceaser Masina who is a journalist and also owner of an MTN booth.

Masina, 57, told the court that he employed the accused person as his sales assistant at the booth in October, last year.

He testified that on January 31, this year, Kalonga called him around 10:00 hours, telling him to go to the booth as money amounting to K28,000 was missing.

“He called me around 10:00 hours that something had happened at the shop and there was a loss of funds amounting to K28,000,” Masina said.

He said he then drove directly to Central Police as the booth was located near that area.

Masina said when he reached the police station, the police asked him to tell the accused person to report to the Police station.

He said once Kalonga was there, the police asked him if the booth had been broken into and he said it was not.

Masina said when he was further asked how the money was stolen, Kalonga claimed it was through black magic.

He said when the police went to check whether the locks to the booth had been tempered with, it was discovered that they were intact.

“The police asked how the money could have been stolen and he said it could have been through black magic. [And] he insisted it was black magic. Then the police said ‘let’s go and establish the locking system if it had been tempered with’,” he said.

“He is the only one who has the key to the drawer where cash was kept. The locks to the booth were intact and not tempered with. The drawer as well was not tempered with. The police adviced that they will hold on to the accused person maybe he will give them a different story than what he had said earlier.”

Masina told the court that Kalonga had the K28,000, which he claimed was stolen, more than three weeks earlier.

“The K28,000 was cash. As the employer, I was only owing him one salary for that particular month (January),” he said.

Masina said from the missing K28,000, nothing was recovered.

He added that the other monies which were in the booth were still there.

“In the same drawer where the money got stolen, my son had left some money, K4,920 which was still intact and there was K435 from talktime sales it’s still available. Only the K28,000 is missing,” he said.

The matter has been adjourned to March 29 for continued trial.

The accused person is on police bond.