Boy who stole Chief Mpezeni’s car keys pleads guilty

An 18-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to stealing motor vehicle keys worth K500 from paramount chief Mpezeni’s vehicle.

The juvenile of Nsolo village in Mpezeni’s area and a pupil of Nyanje Day Secondary School, also pleaded guilty to another charge of theft where he is alleged to have stolen a torch and a pair of shoes.

The stolen car keys were from the chief’s Chevrolet, registration number AJB 3091.

He is alleged to have stolen the keys at the time the paramount chief was about to embark on a procession from Ephendukeni palace to Laweni to mark the start of the activities for the Nc’wala traditional ceremony which reached its climax on February 26.

In the second count, particulars of the offence were that Jere, on 24 February, 2022 stole one torch and one pair of shoes, altogether valued at K2,221.00, the property of Pinael Banda.

He pleaded guilty to both counts but told the court that he had no intention of depriving the traditional leader of the motor vehicle keys.

When asked by magistrate Moses Phiri why he stole the keys, the boy said he did not know what came to his mind.

“I was nerved (drunk) when I went to Ephendukeni palace before the chief’s procession to Laweni. I carried my clothes because I was clad in animal skin, so I put my clothes in one of the vehicles which was at the palace. When we were starting off to Laweni, I went into the vehicle to get my clothes, but I don’t know what went to mind to get the car keys,” explained the boy. “I had no intention of getting the keys permanently and this is the reason why I handed them back to the chief before the matter was reported to police.”

Magistrate Phiri asked him to produce a birth record, birth certificate or the National Registration Card for the court to know his real age.

The matter was adjourned to Tuesday, March 15, for presentation of written facts by senior public prosecutor Jeff Mwanabeene.

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