FORMER UNZA Student Henirick Chisenga has admitted to stealing 16 computers from a lab at the highest learning institution to install new software free from viruses.
Chisenga is charged with breaking into a building and committing a felony.
The accused on August 18, 2022 entered the school library under the Agriculture department and stole 16 computers and computer accessories valued at K68, 075.
Magistrate Mutinta Mwenya found Chisenga with a case to answer and placed him on his defense as the prosecution had proven the case beyond reasonable doubt.
In his defense Chisenga explained that on August 18, 2023 he approached the head of department of food and nutrition under Agriculture, Dr Chiza Kumwenda and asked if he could borrow one computer but he was stopped.
“He said the university would not be pleased to hear that it’s property is under the possession of a student. Then I asked him for me to make use of the computer laboratory I wanted to download information about the Constitution for the organization I work for,” Chisenga explained.
He said Dr Kumwenda directed him to see the secretary a Mr Chibanga to allow him access the lab.
He said the secretary gave him the keys to the lab and log in book but when he switched on the computers they were not functioning well.
“There was dirt some were disconnected and other cables distorted. I found 16 computers. Six were not switching on. The ones which were switching on, the 10, I found they had viruses. The old computer systems had harbored viruses,” Chisenga explained.
“As the one who asked to make use of the computer lab, I wanted to put everything in order to make use of them. So, I took the computers to a place where we could clean them and put new operating systems in good condition without viruses and the rest six which were not switching on, I had to consult from someone within the campus why they weren’t switching on.”
Chisenga said he worked on the ones which were switching on and kept them in a room whilst fixing the other six which could not go on.
He said on August 28 he received a call from Dr Kumwenda whom he met at the old car park requesting if he could help access data for his own project.
Chisenga said Dr Kumwenda handed him over to UNZA security for investigations
“He said these (security) men will show you where they are taking you, simply comply. I went with the two men in a land cruiser. They are the ones who introduced me to Seargent Chutu from Chelstone Police Station,” Chisenga explained.
“From there, Sergeant Chutu started asking me questions on the way back to the university that the department had reported stolen computers and I was the suspect. I explained that I was with them and the rest where somewhere.”
The accused said he led the officers to the room where the computers and accessories were recovered and he was detained in police custody awaiting his Court appearance.
Magistrate Mwenya adjourned the case to January 23, for judgement.
By Mwaka Ndawa
Kalemba January 15, 2024.