Teacher arrested allegedly stealing school foods

09 Jun 2015 10:10am
OTJIWARONGO, 09 JUN (NAMPA) – A 27-year-old teacher at Tsumkwe Primary School appeared in the Tsumkwe Magistrate’s Court on Monday for allegedly stealing boxes of food meant for that school’s feeding programme.
The school feeding programme is a Government funded initiative operating in various primary schools across the country since 2008, and over 270 000 school children are benefitting from it.
The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Otjozondjupa Regional Head of Operations, Deputy Commissioner Moses Khairabeb told Nampa in an interview on Tuesday that Bonifatius Hangula was caught stealing food from a storeroom of the Tsumkwe PS in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Khairabeb said Hangula was caught red-handed with boxes of raw eggs, uncooked chicken, red meat, brown breads and a box full of fresh milk amongst others, with a total value of N.dollars 7 740.
Khairabeb said in June 2013, Hangula had reported to the Tsumkwe police station that a key to the storeroom in which the food meant for that school’s feeding programme was stolen.
Khairabeb said since then, food under that school’s feeding programme had gone missing from the storeroom and teachers there had kept the issue a secret amongst themselves.
“However, as food continued to go missing from the storeroom while the door and windows remained intact and no break-ins are observed, some teachers became worried,” Khairabeb added.
This forced the school management to report the issue to the Tsumkwe Police Station and consequently four cases of theft of food under the school feeding programme were registered during 2014 and 2015.
It is alleged that Hangula was found with the same key he had once reported stolen in June 2013.
Hangula had first allegedly collected and carried several boxes of food on his shoulders and took them to his room situated a few metres from the storeroom, during the early hours of Saturday morning at approximately 01h50.
“As he returned for the second load, the school watchman saw him entering the storeroom. When he was about to exit the storeroom, the watchman asked what he was doing there,” Khairabeb explained.
It is allegedly Hangula was speechless and he was then apprehended on the spot with boxes of food in his possession.
He made his first court appearance there on Monday morning on a charge of theft before Magistrate Stanley Tembwe.
Tembwe explained the rights of Hangula to engage a private lawyer of his choice, apply for a state funded lawyer through the Ministry of Justice’s Directorate of Legal Aid or defend himself in court.
He opted to defend himself in court.
Hangula was released on bail of N.dollars 500, which he posted the same day.
His case was postponed to 24 June 2015 for further police investigations.
Prosecutor Mwala Mukasa represented the state in the matter.
(NAMPA)
MS/CT/LI