LUSAKA High Court Judge Sharon Newa has sentenced five men to four years imprisonment with hard labour for stealing K1 million and US$2,000 cash from a motor vehicle belonging to an Indian national.
In this matter, Mike Kawela, James Ngosa, Lackson Musonda, Geofrey Mwaba and Chileshe Malama were charged with one count of stealing from a motor vehicle, and they pleaded guilty.
Facts before court were that on March 24, 2021 in Lusaka, Mohammed Hanif Patel drove home around 18:00 hours and when he noticed that no one was opening the gate, he got out of the vehicle to open it.
While opening the gate, the accused persons rushed to the vehicle, opened the boot and stole K1 million and US$2,000 cash before running away.
It was further stated that after an investigation, the five were apprehended and charged with the offence of aggravated robbery, which has now been amended to theft from a motor vehicle.
In mitigation, the accused persons through their defence lawyers, stated that they have had time to reflect on their actions during their stay in custody and deeply regretted their criminal actions.
They further assured the court that if given a second chance, they would never engage in criminal activities as they have learnt that committing a crime doesn’t pay.
The lawyer further stated that the accused persons were youthful and full of potential if given a second chance to contribute to the development of the nation as they were aged 25,30,27,29 and 27 years, respectively.
And in delivering her judgement, Judge Newa noted that the accused persons were youthful in age and therefore had room to reform.
She sentenced them to four years imprisonment with hard labour each.
“I have considered the mitigation and I note that you are first offenders who have readily pleaded guilty and not wasted the court’s time and resources. I note that you are quite youthful in age and therefore have room to reform. I, therefore, sentence each of you to four years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from 16 April, 2021, the date of your arrest,” said Judge Newa.
After the sentence was passed, the state applied that the recovered items which included K92,821 and $1,000 cash, cell phones, a motor vehicle, house furniture and an unfinished house bought by Musonda in Kawama township in Kitwe be handed to Patel.
Judge Newa granted the application.