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A 25-year-old man of Luanshya has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with hard labour for breaking into a house where he stole nshima and eggs, among other household goods.

Timothy Mukaba, was charged with aggravated robbery, which was later reduced to burglary and theft after breaking into Gabriel Mwansa’s house in Luanshya’s Mikomfwa in May last year.

According to a statement of facts presented before court by state advocate Judith Mayiya, on the material day around 23:30 hours, Mr Mwansa retired to bed after locking doors and windows.

Later, he heard a big bang on the door, after which he woke up and switched on the light. He then saw Mukaba inside the house holding a mattress and a lunch box containing nshima and eggs.

“The accused person left with the mattress and lunch box, which had nshima and eggs,” Ms Mayiya said.

“Mr Mwansa gave chase but could not get hold of the accused person. According to him, the accused was a known person to him.

“They had worked together for a period of one year at a bar belonging to Christopher Saluhandu. Around 10:00 hours, Mr Mwansa informed the owner of the property, Mr Saluhandu, and informed him of what transpired.”

Ms Mayiya told the court that upon receipt of the information, Mr Saluhandu visited the scene and discovered that the wire which was used to close and lock the door had been removed and the mattress and bed were missing.

In mitigation, Mukaba asked for forgiveness, stating that although he was not justifying himself, he was “merely trying to survive”.

He said he has, however, realised the impact of his actions and poor judgement, adding that if given a chance, he will endeavour to find legal means of survival.

“I have considered that you are a first offender and readily admitted to the charge without wasting the court’s valuable time,” Ndola High Court Judge Mary Mulanda said.

“Accordingly, I sentence you to five years’ imprisonment with hard labour with effect from May 15, 2023, the date when you were arrested and taken into custody. You are informed of your right to appeal within 30 days.”