A GENERAL worker’s bid to entertain his family and neighbours by playing music for them on Christmas Day at his homestead has landed him in trouble after he was convicted and fined for stealing a car battery at Mtshabezi Hospital to power his stereo.
Ishmael Mpofu (27) pleaded guilty to charges of theft when he appeared before Gwanda magistrate Sheila Nazombe on Monday and was ordered to pay a $150 fine or spend 60 days in prison.
A further 30 days was wholly suspended for three years on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the same period.
Mpofu told the court that he had no intention of stealing the battery, but had taken it so he could play music on Christmas Day at his homestead and was going to return it to the hospital when he reported for work after the holidays.
Prosecutor Alexander Moyo said on Christmas Day at around 3pm, Richard Ndlovu, the hospital’s administrator, left the car battery they use to start the generator when there is no electricity at the hospital.
The following day, Ndlovu phoned a security guard at the hospital and asked him to bring the battery to his homestead, but the battery was missing.
Upon investigation, it was discovered that Mpofu was the only one missing among the general workers and a report was made to the police.
Police officers went to Mpofu’s homestead and recovered the battery worth $100.
In passing sentence, Nazombe said Mpofu had shown a great sense of dishonesty to his employer.
“You saw it better to go dancing on Christmas Day at the expense of patients at the hospital. You showed dishonesty and you have spoilt the trust bestowed on you by your employer of seven years over one Christmas,” Nazombe said.