Mzuzu Chief Resident Magistrate Texous Masoamphambe on 08th June 2016 imposed a 3 year jail term to two tenants, Luke Gilbert, 32, and Raphael Chilimo Zimbiri, 23, for stealing their master’s tobacco worth K2.3 million.
The Court heard that the master, Patrick Phiri last year in August employed two convicts as tenants at his Emanyaleni farm and he provided them with all necessities.
Post harvest of tobacco estimate in the sheds indicated that 1800 kilograms will be released and bailing started early May. Seven bails weighing 100 kilograms each were first produced.
On May 21, 2016, the master decided to visit his family at Luhemero but when he returned he was puzzled to find the seven bails plus other loose tobacco is gone, the two tenants were also gone to unknown destinations.
State Prosecutor Clara Msiska told the court, the two tenants were arrested on 27th May 2016, in Lilongwe bus depot and led police officers to Enukweni where they sold the tobacco and atotal of 1500 kilograms were recovered out of 1800 kilograms.
The two tenants pleaded guilty to charge of Theft by Servant which is contrary to section 286 of the Penal Code.The offence which attracts maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.
When passing judgement the Magistrate said that Theft by Servant not only affect the master but also other employees.
In mitigation the tenants pleaded for a lenient sentence saying that they were bread winners of their families and that they pleaded guilty thereby not wasting court’s time.
However the Court labelled them dangerous offenders who made their master to lose trust in tenants. Therefore, the Magistrate sentenced them to serve 3 years in jail.
The convicts, Luke Gilbert 32 hails from Khewa village in the area of Traditional Authority Chikowi in Zomba district and Raphael Chilimo Zimbiri 23 from Matuwisa village in the area of Traditional Authority Mkanda in Mulanje district.