PHALOMBE – The Phalombe First Grade Magistrate court has convicted and sentenced a Bible believers church pastor for theft.

Presenting the facts in court, Phalombe police station prosecutor Assistance Superintendent Hartwel Kachikonga told the court that on 09th February 2019, the suspect, Dickson Mponera, went to the complainant’s house with clothes he was washing.

“The suspect washes people’s clothes.

On such material day the reporter was counting the money at his house since he is a business man.

When the suspect arrived there, the victim left what ever he was doing and went to attend the suspect.” Sgt Innocent Moses narrated

”He collected all the washed clothes from the suspect and went inside his house leaving the money behind.

It is when the pastor store the money about 500 000 kwacha cash and put them inside his shirt.

When the victim came out he realized that his money went missing.He asked the suspect but denied.” Moses added.

The suspect was searched where he found him with money.

He was arrested and taken to Migowi Police unit.

Men in uniform charged him with theft contrary to section 278 of penal code.

Appearing before his worship Damson Banda on Monday, Mponera pleaded not guilty to the charge forcing police to parade witnesses to prove the charge.

Satisfied with the evidence, magistrate Banda convicted the pastor.

In his submission, Assistance Superintendent Hartwell kachikonga prayed for a stiffer punishment to deter other would-be-offenders.

“Giving the pastor a tough punishment will give others a lesson” Kachikonga said.

In his mitigation, Mponera asked for leniency saying he is a married man hence having a family to take care of. He also said that being a business man in laundry, he has other people’s clothes to wash.

However, the magistrate quashed the mitigation describing it as baseless. Instead he agreed with the state that he must face the music since theft in the district is common hence the need for stiff custodial sentences.

His worship Banda then sentenced Mponera for 15 months imprisonment with hard labour.

Aged 41, he hails from Nkhuvinda village, traditional authority Mwambo in the district.

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