Saturday, April 20, 2024

Former banker gets 3 years suspended sentence for theft


Former Atlasmara Bank, Chinsali Branch Manager has been slapped with a two years simple imprisonment which has been suspended to a 3 years sentence for theft by servant.

The court has also given the convict Cynthia Lumbinda Nswima, 31, of FTC area in Chinsali District two conditions which have been attached to the 2 year simple imprisonment.

Ms Nswima who appeared for sentencing this morning before Chinsali Magistrate Courts Principal Resident Magistrate, Julius Malata had changed her plea during trail.

In passing judgement, Magistrate Malata said the convict will serve 2 years simple imprisonment should she fail to meet the conditions set by the court.

The court ordered that Ms Nswima pays K80, 000 by January 17, 2023 or in default serves 2 years simple imprisonment.

“You shall pay K70, 000 to your former employer and K10, 000 to the state for the experiences,” said Magistrate Malata.

Magistrate Malata said the court heard all that the convict said in her mitigation through the defense counsel from Chinsali Legal Aid Board and has also taken into consideration the fact that the accused is a first offender hence the court will exercise leniency.

“The case you committed is a serious one and uncalled for as you were entrusted with public money by your employer which is the bank but you took advantage of the authority you had to gain access to an account of a person who died and this calls for serious punishment,” he said.

This is in a matter in which Nswima was charged with one count of theft by servant involving K 70,000 property of AtlasMara bank contrary to 278 penal code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Ms Nswima is said to have stolen the said money on September 5, 2022, belonging to an account of a dead person.


  1. Bank money is insured and I’m certain that Atlas Mara would’ve by now claimed that money from the insurer. So it’s misleading to include the refund of the stolen money as part of the punishment. This is an absurdly lenient sentence considering the levels of pillage of both private and public coffers. It’s become very difficult nowadays to entrust money with any Zambian and that includes the clergy. The court hasn’t helped fight the scourge especially in this matter. I urge the State to appeal the light sentence

  2. The accused decided to change plea from not guilty to guilty and the court took that into account. Instead of having a lengthy trial with witnesses travelling to court to give evidence and then undergo cross-examination, the court and the state hv all been saved from that process. She still remains a convict and if she doesn’t repay the money, she will go to prison.

  3. Even if the money was insured by the bank, the Court had power to order damages to the bank, in this case the K70,000.

  4. This is a slap on the wrist. Is it because she stole from the dead? Zambians need lessons about the evil of stealing. I wonder whether a suspended sentence will have an impact on Zambia’s millions of thieves

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