SLEEPING on the job can lead to disastrous consequences for regular folks.
For a burglar, it can mean a jail term. But why would a burglar sleep while carrying out his trade? This particular case from Nkwalini Line, Sipepa area in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North Province will give you a fair idea.
This happened for real: A burglar Taurai Sibanda (36) was busted by Njabulo Ndlovu (63) snoozing in his kitchen hut next to two empty pots which had food he had devoured.
Circumstances are that on 13 January 2021, Ndlovu left his homestead going to a nearby grazing area to look for his donkeys.
It is reported that when he returned home at around 9pm, he discovered that someone had entered his kitchen hut and helped himself to his supper as the two pots which he had left with food were all empty. When he proceeded to his bedroom hut, he also discovered that his wardrobe had been tampered with. When he checked, he found out that some of his clothes had been stolen.
It was proved that when Ndlovu alerted his neighbours they came and observed the footprints and linked them to those of Sibanda.
When they tracked the footprints, they led them to his homestead, but he denied that he was the one who had broken into Ndlovu’s house.
On 25 January 2021, Ndlovu woke up at around 4am and proceeded to his kitchen hut looking for his cigarettes. When he entered, he was shocked to find an unexpected guest, Sibanda happily snoozing. Strangely, he dozed off after eating the food he had left the previous night.
Ndlovu left him snoozing before he proceeded to call his neighbours who swiftly came and apprehended Sibanda.
Since it was still dawn, they chained him while waiting to hand him over to the police later. As Ndlovu was busy preparing breakfast, Sibanda exploited the opportunity and unchained himself and made good his escape.
His luck, however, ran out on 15 April 2021 when he was arrested after breaking into Bigboy Mlalazi’s house in Sawmills, Nyamandlovu area.
While inside he took four bars of washing soap, 3x 2 litres of cooking oil and a pair of tracksuit and tennis shoes.
The matter came to light when he tried to sell the stolen items. The seemingly suspicious villagers, who had heard that there was a break-in at Mlalazi’s house the previous night, quickly raised alarm.
Mlalazi went and reported the matter to the police and investigations led to Sibanda’s arrest and subsequent appearance in court.
Sibanda pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful entry and theft when he appeared before Tsholotsho magistrate Regis Mawarire.
On the first count he was sentenced to three months in jail which were wholly suspended for five years on condition that he will not within that period commit a similar offence.
On the second count he was slapped with a 12 months jail term of which three months of the sentence were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
Another three months were suspended on condition that he restitutes Mlalazi the sum of $2 100 being the value of the unrecovered property.
The remaining six months were suspended on condition that he completes 210 hours of unpaid labour at ZRP Sipepa. Tarisai Mujokoro represented the State.