The Dowa First Grade Magistrate’s Court has convicted and sentenced an 18-year-old woman, Charity Jakalasi, to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing a goat.
The court through state prosecutor Sub Inspector Ezara Bakili heard that the convict, Charity Jakalasi, on April 15, 2021 at Chiponda Village in the district of Dowa stole a goat valued at K30,000.00 belonging to Lestina Yobe of Chapenya Village in Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa District.
It was further learnt in court that the victim used to graze her goats within her compound and it happened that the convict came from Lilongwe to pay a visit to her parents since they live in the same neighborhood with the victim.
On her departure back to Lilongwe after passing at the victim’s house, the convict stole a goat on its grazing area by untieing the rope and delivered it to a certain boy who facilitated the movement of the goat and pocketed K4,300 from the convict since she was cheating the young boy as if she is the owner of the goat.
State prosecutor Sub Inspector Ezara Bakili further told the court that both the young boy and the convict were intercepted by an angry mob after the victim informed a certain man who identified the goat hence mobilised people, who further effected an arrest of the woman.
Appearing before court, the convict pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft of cattle contrary to Section 281 of the Penal Code. This prompted the state to parade three witnesses, leading to her conviction.
In his submission, state prosecutor Sub Inspector Ezara Bakili told the court that despite the convict being a first offender, he asked the court for a custodial sentence, saying the offence committed is serious in nature, cases of theft of cattle are rampant in the district and that she committed the offence to a known old woman in the same neighborhood.
Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Amran Phiri concurred with the state’s submission and sentenced her to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour to send as a warning to other would-be offenders.
Charity Jakalasi comes from Mwambira Village in the area of Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa District.
In a related development, the same court has convicted and sentenced Kondwerani Makina aged 31, of Kachedwa Village in Traditional Authority Msakambewa in Dowa, to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing 100 kilograms of maize valued at K15,000.00 belonging to Bester Bob Mphonde of Chulu 1 Village in Traditional Authority Mponela in Dowa District.