Former UNZA student in court over theft of 16 computers

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A FORMER student at the University of Zambia (UNZA) is currently facing trial in the Lusaka Subordinate Court after he was accused of stealing 16 computers valued at K68, 075.

Henirick Chisenga, 30 currently residing at UNZA is on August 18, 2022 reported to have entered the school library under the Agriculture department and stole 16 computers and computer accessories.

Testifying as the seventh and last witness before Magistrate Mutinta Mwenya, Detective Sergent Rosa Chulu, 38, of ZAF, Lusaka Ibex based at Lusaka police station told court that whilst on on duty on August 28, 2023 he received a report that unknown people had stolen 16 computers from the Agriculture department at the UNZA Great East Campus.

Detective Chulu said the informant had reported that the Burglar who had entered the computer laboratory did not break in physically to steal the computers as the library was intact.

He said the informant indicated that the thieves must have used the main door to gain access to the room.

Chulu said the theft was unearthed by the school’s Head of department, Tizya Kumwenda, who discovered that the doors, windows, and roof of the facility were intact except all the computers were missing.

Detective Chulu said when he rushed to the scene, he only found empty desks as the computers and accessories were swept clean.

“Physical inspections pointed out that there was no sign of a break in,” he said.

Chulu said upon inquiring from Kumwenda about the number of keys that are used to unlock the room, he was informed that they were three, but one of them was missing.

“I was told every student accesses the room as long as they login in a book and will be given the key to the room. Once the key is given to the student, the key should be returned to the secretary or the head of department,” Chulu said.

“I asked them to check in the login book and it was discovered that Heniric did not return the key. We tried to contact him, but his phone was off.”

He said later in the day around 20:00 hours he was alerted that the suspected thief had been found and that his services where needed at the Highest learning institution.

Chulu said he phoned police officers stationed at UNZA and asked them to apprehend the suspect and later take him to Chelstone Police Station for questioning.

“When queried, he expressed ignorance. At the end of the interrogation, he told us that he was aware of whereabouts of the computers. He claimed he never stole the computers but that he has a project with an NGO and needed to use the computers,”Chulu said.

“When Chisenga was asked why he never alerted the school, he claimed she was a well known person and was always in the room where the computers were stolen,”

Detective Chulu further revealed that during the interrogation with the suspect, it was discovered that he was actually not a legal resident of the school but a former Agriculture department student after he failed to provide his school identification card.

After qualifying himself as the thief, Chisenga then directed the officers to a common hostel room where he had covered the stolen computers on an empty banker and 15 computers were recovered.

“Four students found in the common room said they knew the suspect but not sure which school he was registered under,” said Detective Chulu.

“Chisenga was later warned and cautioned, and charged with breaking into a building and committing a felony.

The matter comes up on January 12, 2024 for ruling on case to answer as the prosecution has closed its case.

By Buumba Mwitumwa

Kalemba January 3, 2024

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