LUSAKA magistrate Felix Kaoma on Monday sentenced UPND Kanyama ward 10 councillor Brighton Wilumba to one year six months imprisonment after finding him guilty of stealing K53,600 from the local authority.
Wilumba was charged with theft by public servant.
The prosecution proved that Wilumba, between December 2017 and January 2017, at Lusaka, being employed by local government as civic leader, stole K53,600 cash, the property of the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
In his judgment that was also witnessed by Lusaka mayor Miles Sampa, magistrate Kaoma said cases of public theft were rampant and it was people like Wilumba who hold public office who were supposed to be accountable for their actions.
Magistrate Kaoma said Wilumba caused the local authority to pay the money to the wrong people who did not even do the work as he submitted additional 22 names of wrong people.
He said he was also satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Wilumba was a civil servant within the meaning of law.
“In the circumstances and by the reasons of the foregoing therefore, I am satisfied that the prosecution have proved their case against the accused for the offence of theft by public servant as charged and as such I find him guilty and I accordingly convict him,” he said.
In mitigation, Wilumba pleaded for leniency, saying he was a first offender and a family man who was also doing community work of helping women in the area.
It was heard that on December 22, 2015, 13 people in his area were engaged by the Lusaka City Council to distribute land rates bills and were to be paid for the work.
The 13 did the work but only 12 people were paid in December 2017 through e-wallet.
The one who did not receive his payments went to find out from the Lusaka City Council and discovered that actually 34 people were paid via e-wallet, including the 22 who did not do the work.
The matter was investigated and Wilumba was charged with theft of the monies.
After considering his mitigation, magistrate Kaoma jailed him 18 months.