Man coughs up K600 for calling workmate thief

Written by on June 1, 2019


THE Lusaka Boma Local Court has ordered a 23 year old man of Makeni to compensate his workmate with K600 for falsely accusing him of having stolen his cell phone.

Joe Mumbi, 19, told Senior Court Magistrate George Kaoma that Martin Zaza was his friend and workmate whom he had known for a long time since they both originated from Choma.

“My father and I arrived at the workshop and we found there was no electricity. So we went outside the workshop and I went to be with my friends,” Mumbi said.

He then said when he returned his father asked him to load some furniture on the truck and Zaza appeared on the scene and quickly quizzed him over the whereabouts of his (Zaza’s) phone.

“When I told him I had not seen it, he insisted that I had taken his phone. By the time we were knocking off Zaza insisted we go to the police. But other workers advised him to take me to my parents first, Mumbi said.

Zaza took him to his parents and told them what happened and insisted that it was him (Mumbi) who had stolen the phone.

“My parents decided to pay for the phone so when they asked him how much it was worth, he said K1, 200. My parents told him to give them time to look for the money,

“I stopped going for work and started working from home. Martin came and took me to Dr Chamanga, a witch doctor who I paid K250 and promised the phone would be found in 7 days,” Mumbi said.

He then said his father got news that someone had given Zaza his phone back and that as when he decided to sue him because he had tarnished his name at work.

Zaza then told the court that when he reported for work at the workshop, Mumbi and another friend Kennedy stood very close to him as he was changing his clothes.

“Before I could even finish changing, my boss called me. When I came back, I didn’t find my phone. I went to my boss to complain and when I asked Joe he denied having it. I asked him again but he kept denying and I even threatened to take him to the police,” Zaza said.

He however denied calling Mumbi a thief because he was just a suspect.

He said another workmate found the phone days later where Mumbi and his father worked from and gave it to him.

The court found that everyone at the work place believed that Mumbi was the one who took the phone.

Defamation of character therefore happened and Zaza was ordered to compensate Mumbi with K600.

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