. . . as he is caged for pickpocketing
MPANDAWANA - A Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) officer stationed at 4.2 Infantry Battalion was last week sentenced to 30 days imprisonment with an alternative of paying a US$100 fine for pickpocketing US$220 from a passenger who was sitting next to him in commuter omnibus.
Wellington Chide (27), of Munemo village under Chief Rwiri in Mhondoro, appeared before Gutu Resident Magistrate, Edwin Marecha facing theft charges as defined in Section 113 of the Criminal Law and Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23.
Chide denied the charge when he first appeared before the same court on September 2, 2016 but later pleaded guilty on September 20 saying he was tempted and stole the money because of the bad economic situation and the hardships he was facing.
"I ask your worship if you maybe lenient. My salary is not enough at all. After (paying) maintenance and credit deductions, I don't have anything left in my bank account to survive on. I was just tempted when I saw that wallet. I knew it was wrong but I just did it, and I hope God will forgive me. I am a first time offender if you may consider that," Chide pleaded.
It was the State's case that on August 30, 2016, Janet Madhuva (35) boarded a commuter omnibus at Matizha business centre in Serima and sat next to Chide.
The vehicle was travelling towards Mpandawana from Chivhu.
The court heard that Chide saw a wallet inside Janet's jacket pocket and took it. The wallet had US$220 and Chide took US$200 before attempting to sneak back the wallet into Madhuva's pocket.
The victim, however, felt the movements and upon checking, she saw Chide holding her wallet.
It was at that time that Janet alerted passengers that there was a thief in the omnibus bus. Chide denied the allegations leading to his arrest in Mpandawana.
Marecha ordered the accused to pay back the US$200 and pay a fine of US$100 that same day or spend 30 days in prison saying that such act was not acceptable given Chide's position as a person of authority.
Millicent Azangwe prosecuted.news