Gen­eral hand steals food meant for kids

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu

A GEN­ERAL hand at Tje­hanga Pri­mary School has ap­peared in court for steal­ing food worth $60 that was meant for the school feed­ing pro­gramme.

Ni­cholas Ndlovu (38) of Tje­hanga Vil­lage stole a 50 kg bag of maize meal and 50 kg bag of maize from the school’s store­room. The bag of maize was re­cov­ered.

He was con­victed on his own plea of guilty to un­law­ful en­try and theft by Plumtree mag­is­trate, Mr Joshua Mawere.

Ndlovu was sen­tenced to 18 months im­pris­on­ment and nine months were sus­pended on con­di­tion that he does not com­mit a sim­i­lar of­fence within the next five years.

Two months were fur­ther sus­pended on con­di­tion that he pays the school $30 resti­tu­tion.

The re­main­ing seven months were sus­pended on con­di­tion that he per­forms 210 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice at Ndi­weni Clinic.

“Your Wor­ship I stole the food as my chil­dren were starv­ing at home. I am a wid­ower and I’m look­ing af­ter two chil­dren aged four and six years. They were con­stantly com­plain­ing of hunger but I didn’t have any­thing to give them be­cause I hadn’t been paid.

“I ’m plead­ing with the court to give me a light sen­tence be­cause if I go to prison my chil­dren will be stranded as I’m the only one they have,” he said. Mr Mawere lashed out at Ndlovu say­ing he should have con­sid­ered his chil­dren be­fore com­mit­ting the of­fence. He said his chil­dren’s need for food did not jus­tify his ac­tions. He said Ndlovu should have ap­proached his su­pe­ri­ors and told them that he was stranded in­stead of steal­ing food. “You now want the court to show you em­pa­thy be­cause of your chil­dren but you didn’t think of them when you were steal­ing. It is com­mon knowl­edge that if you steal you can be caught and jailed but you didn’t con­sider it,” said Mr Mawere. Pros­e­cut­ing, Mrs Rose Sibanda said Ndlovu com­mit­ted the of­fence on Oc­to­ber 27 at around 8PM. “On 27 Oc­to­ber Ndlovu went to the school store­room and broke a pad­lock that had se­cured the door in or­der to gain en­try. He took 50 kg sack maize and a 50kg sack of mealie meal and went away un­no­ticed. “The fol­low­ing morn­ing a cook who is in charge of the school feed­ing pro­gramme dis­cov­ered the of­fence and re­ported to school au­thor­i­ties,” she said. Mrs Sibanda said the deputy head­mas­ter, Mr Vusumuzi Ngute fol­lowed some bi­cy­cle track from the store­room and they led to Ndlovu’s homestead. The mat­ter was re­ported to the po­lice re­sult­ing in his ar­rest.— @ DubeMatutu.

Ni­cholas Ndlovu

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