THE Mwinilunga District magistrate’s court has convicted and sentenced two civil servants to two years imprisonment each with hard labour for stealing K1.4 million meant for land development in the district.
Before Magistrate Moses Manengu were Jameson Atanasi, 47, an assistant accountant and Robby Matendeko, 57, an accounts clerk at Mwinilunga District Council charged with 15 counts of abuse of authority of office and two counts of theft by public servant.
Facts before the court were that, on a date unknown but between January 2012 and August 5, 2012, being persons employed by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing as assistant accountant and accounts clerk respectively, jointly and while acting together, the duo did steal K 1. 4 million cash which came into their possession by virtual of their employment.
In mitigation Atanasi and Matendeko both pleaded with the court to exercise lenience on them, saying they were both married with 11 and 9 children respectively who they said would suffer once convicted as they are the only bread winners of their families.
Mr Manengu said he has taken note of their plea being first offenders who acted ignorantly.
He however, said as civil servants they had no right to steal and that ignorance was no defence, hence convicting them accordingly as the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubts.-ZANIS