The man convicted of stealing foodstuffs from a Naivas outlet in Nairobi has been released from prison. 21-year-old Alvin Chivondo was released from Industrial Area prison after former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko paid his KSh 100,000 fine. Photo: Nation. Source: UGC 21-year-old Alvin Chivondo was handed one year in jail or an alternative of a KSh 100,000 fine after pleading guilty to two counts of stealing and handling stolen items. Freed from prison He was charged with stealing 5kg of rice, 5 litres of cooking oil, 2kg of sugar, honey and tea leaves totalling KSh 3,165 from the chain’s Ronald Ngala branch.
Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko came to the young man’s rescue by offsetting the KSh 100,000 fine and thereafter securing his freedom. On Thursday, April 14, Sonko Rescue Team picked Chivondo from the Industrial Area prison where he had begun serving his one year sentence. Sonko’s act of kindess After his release, he was taken to the same store where he had been arrested to do a month-long shopping that included food and his baby’s personal effects.
Sonko expressed his optimism that Chivondo would be completely reformed and be a law-abiding citizen. The former city-county chief executive restated that, as promised, he would put the man on full-time employment to enable him to provide for his young family. “My team picked Alvin Linus Chivondo from Industrial area prison after we managed to secure his freedom. Chivondo was jailed yesterday for stealing foodstuffs at Naivas. Am happy the young man is now free. It’s my hope he will be a responsible man,” said Sonko.
After this, my team will proceed to give him the one-month food stock and a job as well as promised yesterday. The shopping was done at the same supermarket where he was arrested after stealing the food items to feed his family,” he added. While paying the fine on Wednesday, Sonko observed that a majority of Kenyans are languishing in poverty and even affording a daily meal for their families is one daunting task.
In his defence before the court, Chivondo, who by the time of his sentencing was a trolley pusher in the Nairobi CBD, said he and his family had slept hungry for three days. “I have a four-month-old baby and I couldn’t feed my family. Your honour, you can see I only stole food items. I can’t feed my family since I lost my job,” he pleaded. Petty offender The man’s punishment elicited reactions, with most Kenyans poking holes in the judgement, which they said was so punitive compared to the offence.
ODM leader Raila Odinga joined hands with Kenyans in castigating the judgment, asking the court to revise the punishment and acquit the accused, given that his was a petty offence. The former premier argued that the courts had given a reprieve to criminals to campaign freely but resorted to sentencing petty offenders to jail. “Let Alvin Linus Chivondo be released unconditionally!. Criminals are now getting a reprieve to campaign freely, while petty offenders are being jailed. Let the courts get their priorities right, for once, you can’t jail a man for trying to feed his family,” said Raila.