Tuesday, July 23, 2024

19 year old teenager jailed for three years for stealing his mother’s underwear



The Nchelenge magistrate court has sentenced a 19 year old man to three years imprisonment with hard labour for stealing a pant worth K20.

This is a case in which Gift Changi of Luswili village in Chieftainess Kanyembo’s area in Nchelenge District is charged with one count of theft contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Facts before the court were that on October 18, 2018 Chongo stole his mother Florence Bwalya’s pant worth K20.

He told magistrate Emmanuel Mukoma who asked him the reason why he stole his mother’s underwear, said that he wanted to use it for rituals so that he could get rich.

In mitigation, the accused pleaded with the court to exercise lenience as he was the first offender and would never repeat committing the same offence.

Passing his sentence on the accused, Magistrate Mukoma said it is a taboo for a child to touch or see his parent’s underwear and that the method he wanted to have wealth was not the normal way.

He observed that the accused would even kill his own mother for wealth if at all he could touch her pants.

He therefore, sentenced Chongo to three years imprisonment with hard labour effect from the date of arrest in order to deter would be offenders.


    • It has always been the battle of the mind and those of us who have lost that battle will fail 10 OUT of 10 times…

      zambia is almost gone to be honest. We have the legal system with form but without substance

    • Someone send that magistrate to jail for 3 years please! What is the qualification of magistrates? This is absolutely absurd, a human rights abuse. People steal millions of Kwacha thru mismanagement and they get red carpet treatment and this poor boy ,obviously struggling due to our poor economy, steals underwear worth R20 and he is imprisoned??? Someone please help this boy and MPs please change our archaic laws PLEASE

    • imwe batubulu is this how you become rich, putting on your mama’s G string . pa zed naikakata.nikosa inga walikosa.
      This must be Sharon’s brother.

    • Correct me if am wrong but in this case the charge is for theft not ritual or taboo. If one steals a box of matches and says he wanted to burn someone’s house, you sentence him for stealing the matches not arson!

    • These magistrate get intoxicated with the power they hold. How on earth do you sentence someone to 5 years for stealing a pant? What ever his motives are for stealing that pant are not relevant to the case. Charge him for witchcraft then if you find him guilty sentence him to 5 years.

      What is the whole point of education? Where is equity which the law demands in this case? Why couldn’t the young man just be consoled at the Police Victim Support Unit and then given community service for 6 months or a year to clean the rubbish, sweep etc such a sad state of affairs. This justice system we have is truelly a cruel one, no difference with the colonial system but worse because the cells today are concentration camps with TB, HIV and Typhoid.

    • Consider the implications his mother would have suffered for him to get rich quickly.. Bad, dangerous boy. He must learn to work hard, hence that imprisonment .. Go ahead and punish the witfh doctor also for brainwashing the boy.

    • The mother would not have suffered, because whatever he was planning to do would not have worked. Please people, who has proof that voodoo work smh!

  1. And what is ‘pant’ ? these journalists leave much to be desired, pantie bane or keep it to underwear. And Zambia wants local languages as part of early education curriculum?

  2. facts are not adequate for us to conclude that the magistrate erred in law and fact. However , if one is dissastified by the magistrate judgment the is only one option which is to appeal………. No need to insult the magistrate……….. The magistrate court is not the final arbiter to any litigation… the case can be set for review, case stated by the High court or appealed by the accused or his counsel.

    • If you are familiar with the way Justice is applied in rural Zambia u should know that this sentence will stick and there will be no appeals whatsoever

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    Outrageous! This clearly an abuse of the court process and what it was intended for by this trigger happy magistrate. Why bringing the issue of “taboo” to a Common Law system? This isn’t a Customary Law court to steat talking about taboos. The charge was for theft, not taboo or speculation if a crime of murder that has not been committed. 3 years for stealing underwear, people get 2 years for murder where I live.

    The legal process was meant for reforming and long term sentences reserved for hardcore criminals, not disgruntled people who have been made poor by corrupt Lungu and his minions.

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    At worst he should have been given a warning or suspended sentence… at it’s about time Zambia started sentencing people to do community service and probation. It’s cheaper on government resources rather than sending everyone who offends to jail. What a backward society this is!

    • Imagine how much tax payer’s money will be spent on this boy in order to pu nish him over K20! Surely even as Judges we have discretion. Ubu bwena bupuba bwakalyelye. Why not let this boy clean the court surrounding which I believe must be pathetic for at least one month?

  5. Aaikona…..3 years with hard labour for a pantie fye…..imwe mwebantu….hmmmm awe……this mother should forgive the son….honestly she carried him nine months only to have him suffer for a pantie….pantie ya K20……

  6. Last days . Not a real mother , Firstly it would have been a family mater. if it is true , then he is not alone . The family has lost it , This is what is lacking in the family , they should have established what could have lead the young man to do such a nasty thing. But since we have picked a white man’s way of solving problems , we have lost it all. And the family , has not won the battle when he comes out , the young man shall look for vengeance, Mulandu wakwa kaleya

    • The witchdoctor will then ask him to bring that which sits in the pant and how he will get it, is your guess and mine since he will come back home wounded.

  7. Yes what this boy did was very wrong but the sentence is too harsh. Only 6 months could have been enough. Some of these magistrates! Eishhhhhhh!……..We are waiting for the concourt to sentence the Ministers who illegally got salaries and allowances after dissolution of parliament. They should be charged with contempt of court

  8. if you are a very concerned about the case and you need to help the young man… Contact an advocate to help the man…. Lawyers can help. there are courts to appeal to.. the sub court is not final…. Not insult the bench… the family brought the matter to court and the court never invited them……
    Dont cast aspersion to the court…… hose you have been to ZIALE will agree with me that being polite to the bench, prosecutors and witness is very important. Lawyers are advised to maintain integrity and respect even if they may or may not agree with court judgment.

  9. I feel the sentence was very okay. In fact it should have even been more than three years to completely stop who should be the offenders. We, young men have become lazy that is why we are doing things like this.

  10. And you wonder how our prisons are full to bursting point yet crimes of looting the treasury that doom us all to misery and poverty go unpunished… The colonisers did a mighty fine job of keeping us in self destruct mode long after their departure.

  11. A suspended sentence and psychiatry evaluation is what should have been the punishment. 3 years in jail may reveal the worst of him, but then Zambians are a superstitious bunch.

  12. Its a tough one bane. It’s all about proportionality.

    Was the judge harsh because the kid wanted to use witchcraft/rituals using his mother’s underwear in effect sacrificing her life. What is the correct sentence for such an attempt? Attempted murder is life in prison if the intention is proved. Was the judge then going by the kid’s own admission to intend to use his mum’s Bamba for rituals which might endanger her life? or was he just going by the fact that he stole a Bamba? If just the Bamba then its harsh but if because of being reckless by putting his mother’s life at risk through deadly rituals then he is justified to deter such occurrences and is within the law for ‘attempted’ crimes.

  13. This is the price people will pay for believing in silly superstitions. The sentence is not really for a K20 theft offence but rather the ridiculous belief that if the boy succeeded, the witchcraft or magic performed would harm the mother and make him (very) rich. the only way the mother could be harmed would have been if the young man physically harmed her. As Africans, we were taken into Slavery and colonised but miserably failed to use Witchcraft to liberate ourselves by killing the Oppressors. Suspected Witches are been killed, some burnt alive yet they are believed to have supernatural powers. It’s time we stopped believing in fables that have no truth in them. This boy was not supposed to get any jail term, just a strong warning and some counselling. If educated Magistrates still…

  14. Solye Ubwali, I believed the stories for years until I got wiser. I now really see how silly I have been. Haiti is the poorest Nation in the Western Hemisphere and one of the poorest on earth. Yet Haiti is inhabited by people taken into slavery, imported by the Portuguese and French from various West African Countries. So the country is a mixed pot of various types of black magic. Why were they overcome by Colonialists with such supernatural superpowers? During slavery they were brutalised, they never used it to liberate themselves yet among themselves they practised it and sometimes their masters used to intervene if some slaves scared off other slaves using Witchcraft. The Europeans knew it was all superstitious nonsense since they did use to believe in such in the 16th century before…

  15. … they knew better. The slaves believed it works among themselves. But we aren’t any different from white people except for skin colour so why does it fail us when we are dealing with bazungu? You are in the UK so you know that if an old lady is found wandering in your backyard, you call 911 so they pick the dementia patient so she is taken care of. Before they arrive, you make sure she’s warm and safe. In Zambia, you would immediately create a story that you saw her falling from the sky flying on a broomstick. With a few well-placed slaps, she will fill-in your story adding details such as origin and destination (From Kabwe to Solwezi) and mission (to suck blood from Children). Even Police upon arrival will slap her she gets thrown in jail. The papers report on the matter with stock…

  16. … images used to allege it was actually her. That night, the Pentes will pray in tongues, shouting fire, fire on the witch … Until we stop these silly beliefs we will keep wallowing in poverty.

  17. Totally agree with you. The most unfortunate thing is we are moving from one doctrine of supernatural power of witchcraft to another in a small book called the bible. In short Africans are easy to indoctrinate. Its sickening.

  18. Application of the law and common sense has eluded this magistrate. The reason for the theft is not important. This is his mother, the item costs K20 and he is a first offender. No way can a ‘sane’ law person impose such a sentence. Community service or a suspended sentence would suffice.

  19. Unfair sentence. is stealing kaputula more a crime than corruption? These magistrates. We should be seeking sentence that are reforming and corrective not hardening kids like him in jail. Blame the theology and media exposure to questionable theories of God


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