The Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Mzuzu has convicted and sentenced 37 year old Esther Mbale to 20 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) for the charges of obtaining money by false pretence which is contrary to section 301(1) of the Penal code.
Court through State prosecutor Sub Inspector Lyson Kachikondo heard that between the months of September and October last year, the accused visited six villages within Mzimba Boma claiming she working with a Non-governmental organization namely Chimwemwe Orphan Care and Elderly Care Centre, and convinced the villagers that her organization will be helping people to access fertilizer but they have to contribute K2, 500 .00 for transportation.
Total amount contributed came to K10, 567,500.00 but the people were surprised that months went on without getting the fertilizer and the convict was nowhere to be found.
When the matter was reported to police, investigation were carried out which led to her arrest in Nkhotakota, and appearing before court she pleaded not guilty forcing the state to parade seven witnesses and was subsequently found guilty.
In her mitigation she pleaded with the court that she should be given an ample time to look for the said amount of money and pay back to the villagers.
When passing judgement His Worship Brian Sambo said what she did is a serious offence and stealing from the villagers is in human, he therefore sentenced her to 40 months imprisonment for the six counts and the sentences to run consecutively.
Mbale hails from Chingala Kadoko Village, in the area of Traditional Authority Kaluluma in Kasungu District.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :