The First Grade Magistrate Court in Nkhata Bay has sentenced a 24 year old Maxwell Manda to six month imprisonment with hard labor for obtaining money by false pretence.
The court heard that on 3rd May, this year (2015), that Maxwell Manda went to the complainant- Mrs. Winnie Banda aged 45 at Tembwe in T.A. Kabunduli in the district, and claimed that he had been sent by the District Commissioner as a Social Welfare Officer to build a nursery school in the area.
The State Prosecutor, Inspector Evance Kamtukule, told the court the suspect demanded K5, 000 from the complainant who is also Village Development Committee Chairperson.
Inspector Kamtukule further said the suspect alleged he wanted to use the money (K5, 000) for fuel during the project period. The complainant gave Manda the money.
“Later, the suspect was not located and Mrs. Banda reported the matter to Mzenga Police who arrested the accused a few days later,” Inspector Kamtukule explained.
Manda pleaded guilty to the offence and the court convicted him in his own plea of guilt.
In Mitigation, the accused pleaded with the court to give him a lenient sentence because he was a first offender.
“I’m asking this court to be lenient on me when passing the sentence as I am a first offender and that I look after my wife and little children,” pleaded Manda.
But Inspector Kamtukule asked the court to give the accused a stiffer punishment to deter other would-be offenders, saying the behaviour he had shown was criminal.
Passing the sentence, First Grade Magistrate Billy Wamkaya Ngosi concurred with the state witness on the gravity of the crime, hence the six month sentence with hard labour for Manda.
Maxwell Manda hails from Mundiyeghe Village in the area of Traditional Authority Zilakoma in the district. He is not a social welfare officer as he alleged before obtaining money from Mrs Winnie Banda.