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UNZA student who stole Jameson survives jail as magistrate suspends sentence

A STUDENT at the University of Zambia Brian Chanda has been given a six months suspended sentence by the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court for stealing Jameson whiskey valued at K579.99 from Pick n’ Pay.

Chanda will have to spend 12 months in prison if he commits a similar offence within a period of six months.

This is in a matter where Chansa, 27, of Mongu, was charged with theft.

It is alleged that Chansa on January 24, 2021 stole Jameson Whiskey from of Pick n’ Pay at Levy Mall.

When the case came up for plea on Tuesday before magistrate Nsunge Chanda, Chansa admitted to stealing the whiskey.

Asked why he stole the liquor, Chansa said he was under pressure because he had no money to pay for registration fees and that he was also intoxicated.

Following his own admission of guilt, magistrate Chanda convicted Chansa for theft

Facts are that on the material day, James Phiri, an administrative officer and a complainant on behalf of Pick n’ Pay received a report of theft after he was alerted by a security guard who was monitoring the cctv footage at the entrance of the store.

The security guard told Phiri that a man had opened a bottle of Jameson and consumed its content but he did not pay for the beer.

The guard gave a description of Chanda to Phiri and he was later apprehended as he tried to leave the store.

Asked why he never paid for the beer, Chansa never gave a satisfactory answer and was taken to Lusaka Central Police Station where he was detained.

In mitigation, Chansa asked for the court’s leniency as he was remorseful and regrets his actions

He pleaded with magistrate Chanda not to send him to jail for the reasons that he is an orphan who had problems at the time.

“I also have a problem with my sight. I regret my actions and I am sorry to the people affected by my actions,” Chansa said.

Magistrate Chanda said she would exercise leniency considering that Chansa is young and had a future ahead.

She said Chansa’s behaviour was unpleasant, wondering why he degraded himself to stealing beer.

“You should not have resorted to stealing and drinking beer after being pressured because problems will always be there. There are a lot of orphans with problems. You are just destroying your future,” magistrate Chanda cautioned Chansa.

“I hereby sentence you to six months imprisonment with hard labour but suspended it to 12 months.”

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