By Simon Liseli
A 30 year old Zambian national Morris Sepiso Siyayo has been convicted to a three year imprisonment by the Katima Mulilo Regional Court for stealing an ox valued at N$3000.
Siyayo, who hails from Kaunga Mashi village in Zambia was sent to prison without an option of paying a fine when he made his last trail appearance before Magistrate William Kasitoma on May 7, 2012.
Siyayo, who was arrested in August 2010, was found in possession of the stolen ox loaded onto his canoe while trying to escape into the neighbouring country through the Zambezi River.
The stolen ox belonged to Siyayo’s employer Matengu Vincent Mwilima of Naňombe village in Katima Mulilo district. The ox was recovered and returned to Mwilima.
Siyayo was found guilty as charged under the Stock Theft Act of 1990 as amended by act 19 of 2004, after he had pleaded guilty to the charges on February 15, 2012.
During the sentence mitigation Siyayo’s legal representative from the law firm called Kruger, Van Vuuren legal practitioners told the court to note that the accussed was first time offender, who had shown remorse for his unlawful conduct.
“The accussed (Siyayo) is a first offender and thus he should be treated more leniently. The accussed also has a minor child that he looks after and he has pleaded guilty showing remorse for his lawful conduct when he appeared in court to plea” said Vuuren.
However Public Prosecutor Jatiel Mudamburi in his aggravation told the court that stock theft is a serious offence which is prevalent in the country and the accused bridged the trust within the foundation of employee and employer’s relationship.
“Siyayo was still employed by the complainant at the time the crime was committed and by stealing from his employer, he was in bridged of the trust shared amongst employers and employees” Mudamburi said.