The Mangochi Second Grade Magistrate’s Court on Thursday sentenced a 38 year-old man identified as Tailosi Kukada to serve nine months imprisonment after finding him guilty of stealing a goat which is contrary to section 281 of the penal code.
The convict hails from Chikata village in the area of Traditional Authority Chose in Mangochi district.
The court through the presiding judge, Augustine Mizaiah heard that the convict, Tailosi Kukada on June 12, 2016 stole a goat from Fainess Kalingo of Chimesha village.
The state witness, Leonard Makiyi told the court that the accused went to the house of Kalingo where he broke into the goat’s kraal and stole one goat. After stealing the goat, the suspect was caught by a community policing forum member at Likulungwa Trading Centre where he was offering the goat for sale.
Leonard told the court that the suspect was confronted but his explanations were not justified therefore he was taken to the police station where he was remanded.
Tailosi pleaded guilty and admitted to the charge of stealing a goat. The First Grade Magistrate, Augustine Mizaiah convicted him on his plea of guilt.
In mitigation, Tailosi Kukada pleaded with the court to be lenient when passing sentence, claiming that he was driven to commit the crime as a result of recurring hunger in his house.
However, the presiding magistrate Mizaiah argued that the claim by the convict was not substantial in view of the fact that people rear livestock like goats for a purpose as such no one could claim to steal such animals due to hunger.
When passing sentence, the presiding judge Mizaiah observed that theft of livestock was becoming rampant in the district putting people who rear such animals in fear of their hard earned property. The judge said that it is outrageous to mitigate that he stole the goat because he was hungry, because there are so many people who don’t have food in the village but do not resort to stealing.
The Magistrate, therefore sentenced Tailosi Kakuda to serve nine months imprisonment with hard labour on the basis that the goat was recovered and that the convict was a first offender, a punishment he said was meant to serve as a lesson and deter the other would – be offenders.