The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced two men of Lilanda Township to eight months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing four tins of Kiwi polish from Shoprite at Cosmopolitan Mall.

Lusaka Magistrate Nsunge Chanda noted that anyone who steals was liable to imprisonment, adding that it did not matter whether it was a TV or a tin of polish.

In this matter, John Banda, a 27-year-old businessman and Paul Tembo, 20, unemployed, were charged with one count of theft.

Particulars of the offence were that on July 22, this year in Lusaka, the two stole four tins of polish valued at K185.96 from Shoprite.

And when the matter came up for plea before Magistrate Chanda, Tuesday, Banda and Tembo admitted stealing the polish and explained to the Court that they intended to buy, but did not have enough money, hence they decided to steal by putting the polish in their pockets.

Kapumba Sikanika, who works as a food packer, was the complainant in the matter on behalf of Shoprite.

Facts before court were that on July 22, 2019, Sikanika reported for work at around 08:00 hours and while on duty around 16:00 hours, he was called by a security guard who informed him that he had apprehended two suspects and each had two tins of Kiwi polish hidden in their pants.

The two were apprehended as they were exiting the shop.

The security officer showed Sikanika the four tins and identified them to be the property of Shoprite checkers, valued at K185.86, as they had stickers.

The two suspects were later taken to Embassy Police post where they were detained, pending investigations.

A Detective Manzi took up the matter and interviewed the accused, but they did not give a satisfactory answer.

She made up her mind to charge and arrest the two for the subject offence and under warn and caution statement, Banda and Tembo admitted charge.

In mitigation, Banda and Tembo asked for the court’s leniency and promised never to steal again.

Magistrate Chanda, however, sentenced the two to eight months’ imprisonment with hard labour effective yesterday.

She noted that it was unfortunate that Banda was a father and husband, who was a thief, and added that there was need for a custodial sentence as people were suffering because of criminals like them.

“The penal code says anyone who steals is liable to imprisonment; it does not matter if it’s a TV or a tin of polish or a chicken! For you to be caught, it means you have been stealing,” Magistrate Chanda said.

And the matter in which five Patriotic Front cadres are accused of assaulting and proposing violence on Minister of Justice Given Lubinda has been adjourned to August 27, this year, for commencement of trial as the magistrate handling the matter, Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale, was not around on Tuesday.

In this matter, Martin Mambwe, a 38-year-old driver of Kalingalinga, is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Mambwe is also charged with businessmen, Patrick Mubanga, 40, of Zambia Railways area behind Intercity Bus Terminus; Major Chansa, 35, of Misisi; Moses Mulenga, 35, and Goodson Mwange, 45, of John Laing, with proposing violence or breaches of the law to assemblies.

In count one, it is alleged that Mambwe on July 12, this year, assaulted Given Lubinda, thereby, occasioning him actual bodily harm.

And in count two, it is alleged that on the same date, Mambwe, Mwange, Mubanga, Mulenga and Chansa, whilst acting together, proposed violence to Given Lubinda by saying “we will beat you next time you step your foot in Kabwata Market!”

The five had denied the charges and were granted cash bail of K5,000 each, with two working sureties bound in a sum of K10,000.