I would rather steal from the government than villagers, Embu man tells court
A man accused of theft stunned Embu Law Courts on Monday after he said that he had decided to steal from the government because it has vast resources, rather than stealing from his fellow villagers who are languishing in poverty.
Peter Githinji and Peter Njeru were arraigned in court and charged with being in possession of forest produce, which included a hardwood beam worth Sh500, that they took from Irangi Forest.
Githinji, who appeared before Resident Magistrate Julian Ndeng’eri, admitted to stealing the beam that had been produced before the court saying that they gained entry into the forest, which he says belongs to the government, and stole the hardwood beam.
He narrated that life in the village was hard so he and his accomplice entered the forest and stole the beam because the forest belongs to the government, which “has vast resources that cannot get finished”, as opposed to their fellow villagers who were also struggling to make ends meet.
He was sentenced to six months in jail or a fine of Sh40,000 with 14 days to appeal.
Meanwhile at the same court, a man by the name Bernard Mugo pleaded guilty of being possession of forest produce after he was nabbed by forest rangers at Irangi Forest.
Mugo told the court that he was planning to use the four posts, which he was found in possession of to construct a toilet since timber within the area was expensive.
He was charged that on June 11 at Irangi Forest he was found in possession of four cedar posts worth Sh500.
Mugo was sentenced to jail for four months or a fine of Sh30,000, with the magistrate ordering that the beams and the post be placed under the custody of the forest department.
By Antony Ndwigah
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