BANK EMPLOYEE GETS 15 YEARS FOR THEFT

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By ANDREW MUKOMA

A 23-YEAR-OLD bank worker of Livingstone has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour for re-setting a pin code of a customer’s Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and stealing more than K3,000.

In this matter, Zyole Kanungu, who was an employee of ZANACO has been jailed for an unauthorised access to data, contrary to section 199 (1) of the electronic and transaction Act number 21 of 2009 of the laws of Zambia.

The court heard that on May 4 last year in Livingstone, Kanungu unlawfully accessed data for the ATM card belonging to Timothy Kashinakazhi Fwalanga, the Livingstone District Police Commanding Officer by resetting the pin code. After doing so, Kanungu withdrew K3, 621 from Mr Fwalanga’s bank account without authority.

He was arrested, charged, tried and convicted by the lower court and later committed to the High Court for sentencing.

Kanungu who is being represented by Brian Gombwa of MAK Partners had argued that the lower court errored by convicting him because banking services were not essential in Zambia to constitute a threat to national security. But the State said that the lower court was on firm ground to convict Kanungu adding that he abused the trust.

In passing the sentence, High Court Justice Chilombo Maka Phiri said that Kanungu was properly charged and that he did reset the pin code belonging to Mr Fwalanga, a dishonest conduct.

Ms Justice Maka Phiri added that there was sufficient evidence from the lower which warranted conviction.

She said that the offence was a serious one and carries a minimum sentence of 15 years and she imposed the same jail term with hard labour.

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