A ZANIS reporter on Tuesday narrated in the Chipata Magistrates’ Court how he managed to recover his cameras and laptop, which had been stolen from him.
In this case, Abitoni Phiri, 35 of Referendum Compound, is charged with theft.
Phiri is alleged to have stolen a laptop, two video cameras, two memory cards, a USB cable and power pack from Mutinta Mweemba.
Testifying in the matter, Mweemba told the court that on September 9, 2018, when he came from an assignment in Chipangali, he decided to go to
Kum’mawa Lodge to attend a birthday party for his friend’s son.
He said his laptop bag, which contained all the above items went missing while there.
Mweemba said a watchman, who was on duty at the lodge saw the people who stole the items and decided to give chase but failed to apprehend
He said after sometime, he received a phone call from his young brother, a student at Chipata Trades Training Institute, informing him that there was someone who had a camera similar to his camera’s which were stolen.
“My brother asked whether I had recovered the stolen cameras. I told him that I haven’t, that’s when he informed me that there was someone
who had similar cameras. I told my brother to tell this man, whom I came to know as Francis Phiri, that there was someone who wanted him to shoot his wedding and wants to make some arrangements. So I went to Chipata Trades. I saw the camera and its card. I concluded that they
were mine. So I told Phiri about my wedding and he told me that he had never shot a wedding before,” he said.
Mweemba said after further discussions, Phiri charged him K500 to video shoot his wedding.
“After those arrangements, I told Phiri that I would pay the money in the afternoon so that I give him the part payment. But I went back to Chipata Trades who police officers who later apprehended this man on September 25, 2018. Phiri told the police that he bought the camera from his cousin, Abitoni. With the help of Phiri, Abitoni was arrested by police in Ukwimi area in Petauke district on 3rd October 2018,” he said.
Mweemba said Abitoni’s arrest also led to the recovery of some items such as the two cameras, USB cable, laptop bag, one memory card while
the laptop was found without internal hard drive.
He said after being apprehended, Abitoni told him that he was influenced by Satan to steal.
John Phiri, a watchman at Kum’mawa Lodge also testified in the matter.
Senior resident magistrate Boniface Mwala adjourned the matter to November 16, 2018 for continued trial.