Serial shoplifter Chivondo set free after agreeing to counselling

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Alvin Linus Chivondo, the man who hit the headlines last month after being charged with shoplifting was back in court on Monday, for stealing again.

Chivondo was set to appear before Milimani chief magistrate Wendy Micheni but before he could take plea, his file was recalled by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The DPP discharged Chivondo after he agreed to be subjected to psychological examination at the Mathari Mental Hospital to ascertain his mental status.

According to the charge sheet, Chivondo was arrested on May 19, for shoplifting 5 litres cooking oil and 5kgs of pishori rice valued at Sh2,817 from Naivas supermarket along Ronald Ngala street.

Through his pro-bono lawyer Vienna Mongare, the DPP recalled the plea file for review of the charges.

Mongare said the state has signed a diversion agreement to release her client after he accepted to be subjected to mental examination and counselling. 

Through a written agreement signed by the DPP and Chivondo’s lawyer the DPP said public interest will be served by not charging him.

“After the investigation of the offences and conduct of background check, it appears the interest of the public and your own will best be served by not charging you,” the agreement reads in part.

Chivondo has agreed to refrain from violation of any law.

“I acknowledge that in the event of a criminal arrest while on the diversion programme, the ODPP will have the option of terminating the programme,” the letter reads.

“And instituting the charges that form the basis of this diversion agreement and/or any other offence that may result from my subsequent arrest in appreciation of the terms proposed in the diversion agreement.”

He shall report to the diversion officer, attend counselling programme and all scheduled appointments and referrals as recommended by the counsellor.

He will co-operate in providing any information requested while in the programme.

“I will promptly and truthfully answer all inquiries directed to me by the court or the diversion officer, allow the officer to visit my home, place of work, or elsewhere and I will comply will all instructions he or she may give,” the letter reads.

The DPP has also said if the suspect accused complies with the conditions during the period of diversion no criminal prosecution on this charge(s) will be instituted.

If charges have already been instituted, they will be terminated or withdrawn without prejudice upon compliance with the conditions during diversion.

In April, Milimani magistrate handed him a one-year prison sentence or a fine of Sh100,000.

The sentence was handed after he pleaded guilty to stealing 5kgs of rice, 5 litres of cooking oil, 2kgs of sugar and tea leaves valued at Sh3,165.

The man’s plight went viral prompting former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko to come to his rescue and paid a Sh100,000 fine.

Sonko said he made the decision as his way of reaching out to people in need.

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