Feminising Bank Thefts: Can’t We Just Say ‘Banker Arrested’?

By Correspondent

In the recent past, Zambian news sites and newspapers have had stories concerning bank thefts by female employees. The first shock of such incidents involved what everyone suspects to have been a well calculated bank theft where Pamela Gondwe, an employee of Barclays Bank Longacres Branch, stole $400,000 cash and other amounts in foreign currency and fled the country. What followed were screaming headlines with “FEMALE BANKER” as the most prominent marks of what the news people intended to convey.  To this day, nobody really knows where Pamela is except herself, and probably her closest allies.

A month or so later, a Zanaco employee in Monze, Imenda Musialeki, is said to have stolen K59, 000 from the bank and set the registry room ablaze in an effort to destroy evidence. Not so lucky she was as police arrested her around Muzoka area as she was walking along the road near an area called Nigeria (LOL). This aside, again, it was “ANOTHER FEMALE BANKER” as the key words used in most of the headlines seen for this particular story.

And this week, the Drug Enforcement Commission arrested a former Zanaco employee, a female, in connection with theft of over K500,000. You all know what was in the headlines! Yes, the aspect of her being female seemed to have made much more news than anything else that was contained in the statement released by the Drug Enforcement Commission.

Please do not take me wrong – I am in no way defending the wrongdoers at all. What I see baffling is how most of news outlets rushed to make the aspect of the offender being female much more newsworthy than focusing on the actual offence committed. Theft is theft, whether committed by a man or a woman. I see this trend stereotypical! Would it change the essence of it all if one just goes to say “BANKER ARRESTED” and leave the detail or identities and gender in the full story? My worry is that we are slowly, and without realizing it, tagging the women with a thieving identity when such crimes have since time immemorial been committed by both genders. Forget about the frequency of crimes committed by a particular gender! That definitely does not define who they really are. The truth remains that bank thefts have been committed by both men and women over the years and when it happens, gender must not be the focus but the crime committed!


  1. Brian Kalepa

    I don’t see the importance of your argument here. The facts are statistically females are topping the list of bank thefts and it there fore is just right to make that angle newsworthy.

  2. Mauya

    Do you have a problem calling you by your name?
    You sound like one who is about to commit a similar crime.
    Kuba siti kana, manje kabedwe azimai mwanyanya….therefore, the headlines describes you very well.



  4. Evaristo Mutemena

    The reporter is infact doing a good job becoz most employers think Men are thieves and therefore are discriminated in terms of entrusting them with the responsibility of handling cash.Now it’s time for employers to stop the injustice. Which you do to men

    • PC

      You’re right actually..

    • PC

      They should also stop saying banks but financial institutions? Mwebantu..

  5. SEE MIND (Mwampo)

    Dont more lady employed in Bank. Now is start they will cry more.

  6. Mukanwa mukikopo

    Do you realize that this is the first time women have taken centre stage in bank thefts in Zambia? Do you want to call a spade a folk ? If a woman steals it must be mentioned that a woman has stolen and if it is a man, or a boy and even if it’s a girl the same because it must be known who has committed the crime. It will be incomplete story if no mention of the gender of who has done it is given out. This is the truth, that women are topping in recent days as far as Bank thefts are concerned and are stealing big. Byo byobyo mwane.

  7. E M

    that’s why president lungu drop mwanakatwe b4 she steals more money what a clever way mr president.

  8. Bashikulu Em2a

    Mentioning one who has done something gives a clear picture as to who has done what.Lets call a spade a spade,not a spade as a big spoon.Am not educated,finito.


    The story is already known why hiding? As you put it stealing is stealing now the degree ladies are stealing it’s at high compared to the other sex. In past days people say if you educate a girl you have educated the nation, this term it’s vice versa if you educate a girl child you have educated the thief. I have started worrying myself because the government of the republic of Zambia introduce Keep Girls in School (KGS). Now if more women get educated how is this issue of stealing going to be?

  10. Mpemba Nkule

    Pamela is a criminal of Heart and minds.look at her slowly,her looks is there to say everything.Spoilled at home!

  11. John Simukonda

    Even in the bible if at all you went through, you will come across names of people, who took part be it writing, teaching, baptising, and so so forth. Why is it so this come is to give true account and clear out the doubts, that is likely to surrounding one’s understanding. So mention of gender or name, is to some extent going to give to the public as to, who is topping of doing the right or wrong. Why has men not complained on the mention, of their gender when it comes to GBV? this you the women have stated in media print, electronic who the culprit in gender has done that. So let this gender naming worry you soo very much.

  12. Winner

    Even the police mention gender when identifying suspected offerenders!

  13. Bwalya Chisata

    I feel it’s not a problem or wrong whenever it’s reported to say another female have committed a financial crime.The born of contention is females in the financial institutions stealing it’s something weird and painting a very bad pictures.You know women are trustworthy when it comes to financial matters especially in financial institution but what is happening currently is regrettable.

  14. Concerned

    You can’t just say a banker. Without names or particulars of the individual .
    And you as report you must answer the “W” questions.
    “Who”, when, what, possibly “how” for a reader to understand your story

    Just report what is on the ground period.

  15. Miller Muleya

    The embarrassment has covered your entire body and gender at large no amount of clarification will cleansen you my dear

  16. abilima

    Women have always painted themselves as more honest and trustworthy compared to men. So, when they involve themselves in crimes such as high profile white collar crime, they need to be called out. The Bank thefts that these women have committed in the recent past are very scary and should be properly categorized.

  17. Shikantwa

    Are you a journalist? If you are, you have not been schooled in the art. What captured the story in all these theft is the “female” part. There stories of theft every day in Zambian neespapers but who cares?
    Here is an example. A long time ago a journalist was assigned to go and cover a story about a press conference if an opposition party leader. She prepared her recording gadgets to record the press conference but upon arrival at the venue she was informed that the conference had neen cancelled. She therefore went back to the iffice empty handed without a story. The editors asked her ehat happened, her reply surprised the editor. She had no story to write because the press conference had been cancelled!
    But isn’t the cancellation the big story itself?
    So here female thoeves is actually the big story! Dont get it twisted. Its not gender issues to fight here.

  18. Geoffrey

    It’s also necessary for people to know which one of the two genders is in the lead.

  19. Oscar Witola

    A thief should be identified by both gender and name

  20. Horance musongo

    The fact is that female, are stealing way too much these days as compared to males. I see no point why u complaininh

  21. Oga bale

    Any person who tries to protect a known thief becomes a suspect and should be detained to help further investigations you can only protect what is important to you and trying to protect the identity simply means you may be a share holder of the money being stolen.

  22. Young

    Pamela Gondwe is a role model to many employees in the financial institutions

  23. Success

    Kkkk one female activist! So when a female is involved in theft we should report her as male or what? Call a spade a spade n not a spade a spoon !

  24. Daniel Banda

    It has become common practice among us social media enthusiasts wanting to be seen to seen saying a lot of words and yet nothing in the article adds value to thle very issue at hand. The worst is having a thought -block of sensible ideas and ending up writing insults. However, thinkvcriminals are called by gender identity for statical purposes. In any case women like being appreciated.

  25. petrol muchigubu

    Truth hurts ka! So you want the news to reported how?

    • Maurice M. Phiri

      exactly,Why do she want men to be mentioned yes in all these thefts women where the ones involved. No point of arguing “ACHOKE CHABE UYO”

  26. Kim

    The author is so right.

    • Dr banda

      She is not right at all ,This country backs females alot,in courts,human rights etc,So here females are thieves

  27. Chola

    It’s ok as it is in its current state. In fact they should even include their race and tribe in addition to their gender for the purpose statistics. If it’s a male, let the story say so: “A black male/female Tonga banker at Dundumwezi’s Lima Bank has vanished with more than $50 million.

  28. Mr preacher

    Theft is theft regardless of the gender involved. Thes no way we can protect the wrong downers, natru I no go call spade na big fork. We go telam na true picture.

  29. Tommy. M

    You are a suspect of other thefts whose doers are not yet known! How do you cover what is wrong?

  30. Kennedy Kabwe

    Most financial institutions trust women now mwalamwenako. imagine na my zambeef monse baleiba. chamusebanya

  31. Dr banda

    She is not right at all ,This country backs females alot,in courts,human rights etc,So here females are thieves also.

  32. DR BANDA

    ATI when you educate a woman ,you educate a Nation kuti,when you educate a woman ,you educate a thief,prositute, Satanist etc.

  33. Lunduman

    Never hide what is real

  34. Pf


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