Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
A Chitungwiza man stunned the gallery last week when he claimed that he eked a living from stealing at funeral wakes in the town.Shillati Makanda (20) said this when he appeared before Chitungwiza magistrate Ms Yeukai Chigodora last week where he was convicted of stealing a cellphone from a mourner at one of the funerals.
Makanda told the court that he made his stealing habit much easier by pretending to be a relative of the deceased at the funerals. He said stealing at funerals was much easier and did not require experience.
“Stealing at funerals has an advantage and it is less risky,” said Makanda. “It does not need experience because everyone at the funeral is grieving and not paying much attention.
“It is not risky because even if people realise that you stole from them afterwards, they are reluctant to cause your arrest thinking you are a relative.” Ms Chigodora fined Makanda $30 or 20 days in prison.
In passing sentence, she considered that the mobile phone stolen by Makanda was recovered. Ms Chigodora frowned at Makanda’s behaviour of stealing from bereaved families.
Prosecutor Mr Farai Katonha told the court that on May 16 at around 9am, Makanda approached Mr Canisio Matongo at a funeral at Unit H, Seke, in Chitungwiza.
He introduced himself as the nephew of the deceased. After about 20 minutes, Makanda asked Mr Matongo for his Samsung Note 2 saying he wanted to capture videos and pictures at the funeral.
Mr Matongo complied and Makanda pretended to capture the pictures, but soon vanished from the scene. Realising that he had lost his mobile phone, Mr Matongo reported the matter to the police.
Meanwhile, Makanda had proceeded to sell the mobile phone worth $170 to Ms Rosebut Kalonga to whom it was traced. Upon being interviewed by the police, Ms Kalonga sold out Makanda.