A 62-year-old woman, Pamela Phiri has been convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment by Machinga Third Grade Magistrate Court for stealing over K1 million through tricks which is contrary to section 319 of the penal code.
Machinga Police Station prosecution officer, Peter Piringu told the court that on April 22, 2015 the convict obtained money amounting to K923 000from Davie Rashid on understanding that they would do a joint business at Nayuchi Border.
“She did the same thing to Amos Sanare by collecting K200 000pretending to possess South African Rands,” Piringu told the court.
It was also learnt in court that Phiri also collected some kgs of goat meat from a butchery promising to pay for the meat an amount of K54,000.
He said the convicted woman was arrested on February 05, 2019 and charged with three offences of obtaining money by defrauding others.
Appearing before court on Thursday, Phiri pleaded guilty and admitted to the charge. The court, therefore, convicted him on his own plea of guilt.
Passing judgment, Machinga Third Grade Magistrate, Isaac Kamanga observed that the convict deserved a custodial punishment because she posed a threat to society by her tricks.
He, therefore, sentenced her to 24, 18 and six months imprisonment with hard labour on the first, second and third counts, respectively. The sentences will run concurrently.
Phiri hails from Kumwenda Village in the area of Traditional Authority M’mbelwa in Mzimba.
In a related development, the same court has convicted and fined six people for the offence of producing charcoal without a license.
The convicts are Raphael Saidi, 35, Anafi Wotchi, 28, Wisiki James, 31, Afiki Asani, 19, Clifford Ulaya, 20 and Mphambe Ntepa, 18 to pay fines for producing charcoal in a protected Forest Reserve contrary to section 81 (a) of the Forestry Act.
Piringu told the court that between February 15 and 16 this year, the Department of Forestry conducted operations in their protected Forest Reserve within Machinga.
“In the course of their duty they came across three suspects making charcoal. On the 16th, they met the last three suspects producing charcoal and they apprehended and surrendered them to Machinga Police Station,” Piringu told the court.
All the six accused pleaded and admitted to the charge of illegal production of charcoal in a protected forest reserve.
Piringu told the court that wanton cutting down of trees was rampant in Machinga although government is making different efforts to protect the environment.
“Illegal production of charcoal is a serious offence which attracts a stiffer punishment therefore they deserve a meaningful punishment,” he pleaded with the court.
In mitigation, all the convicts asked for a fair punishment, on the grounds that they were first offenders and that they had some family obligations.
However, Kamanga sentenced the first three to a fine of K100,000. 00 each or in default serve 18 months imprisonment with hard labour while the last three were each fined K75,000. 00 or in default serve 12 months imprisonment with hard labour.
All the convicts hail from the area of Traditional Authority Nkula in the district.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :