A 22-year-old man of Lusaka’s Villa Lucia area has been sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour for breaking into a Catholic Church and stealing 13 chairs and a copper case worth over K3,000.

And Lusaka magistrate Alice Walusiku has wondered how the youth could steal from the House of God.

In this matter, Reagan Chibuye was facing one count of theft.

Particulars of the offence were that on March 30, this year, Chibuye broke and entered a Catholic Church in Lusaka where he stole 13 chairs and a copper case all valued at K3,200, the property of the Catholic Church.

When the matter came up for plea before magistrate Walusiku on Thursday last week, Chibuye admitted stealing the items.

Facts before court were that on the material day at around 17:00 hours, a caretaker at the said church identified as Goodson Phiri briefly left the premises which were secured.

However, when he returned around 20:00 hours he was shocked to find that the church was broken into.

Phiri discovered that 13 chairs and a copper case worth K3,200 were missing.

He immediately rushed to Villa Lucia police station where he reported the matter.

A detective Seargent Kombe took up the matter and investigations led to the apprehension of Chibuye.

The stolen items were also recovered.

In mitigation, Chibuye asked the court for leniency.

He said he was looking after his grandmother and siblings.

But in passing sentence, magistrate Walusiku sentenced him to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour, with effect from date of arrest.

She wondered how of all places, Chibuye could go and steal from a Church.

“Imagine of all places you go to steal from a Church? You went to commit sin in the House of God, the property you stole comes from donations by church members who worked hard for the property,” said magistrate Walusiku.