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SWASCO employee in court for illegally connecting 34 taps for customers

SWASCO employee in court for illegally connecting 34 taps for customers

By MAKOLWA CLARA MUYENDEKWA

AN employee of Southern Water and Sanitation Company (SWASCO) has appeared in the Choma magistrate court charged with four counts of theft by servant contrary to section 272 and 278 of the penal code of the laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence are that Oliver Pembele on all counts being a servant of the water utility company did steal K720 cash on September 20, 2017, November 29, 2017, February 6, 2018 and August 21, 2018 as a customer service assistant/cashier property of SWASCO his employer.

When called to take plea before Resident Magistrate Selia Kanunka, the 29 year old Pembele denied all four counts making the court record a plea of not guilty.

However, six witnesses among them two employees of the company and four customers who allegedly were illegally connected testified against the accused.

The first witness, Mr Brian Nkomo, aged 38 who is an employee of SWASCO as customer service assistant/ cashier told the court that he found taps with running water that were not recognised by the company at a time when he was sent to work from Batoka area.

He explained that this meant that they had account numbers and discovered that they were 34 in total which prompted him to report to his supervisor.

Most of the customers who were connected to the water line showed receipts which were issued by Pembele as proof of payment made to the company of K720 each.

Another witness, Ms Gladys Muloongo, aged 45 of Batoka also told the court that she paid for the water connection through Pembele on November 29, 2017 and was connected through the accused.

During cross examination, the Pembele only kept asking the witnesses if they had not been using running water after being connected and if they were unhappy with the service.

Magistrate Kanunka adjourned the matter to February 8, 2022 for continuation of trial while extending bail for Pembele.

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