The Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Mzuzu has convicted and sentenced Esther Mbale 37 years to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour for the charges of obtaining money by false pretence 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 2016 visited six villages within Mzimba District that she working with a Non governmental organization namely Chimwemwe Orphan Care and Elderly Care Centre .
She convinced the villagers that her organization will be helping people to access fertilizer but they have to contribute K2,500 .00 for transportation in order to receive the fertilizer. Total amount which was contributed is about K10,567,500.00. The villagers were surprised that months went on without getting the fertilizer and the convict was no where to be found.
Matter was reported to police and investigation carried on which led to the arrest of the woman in Nkhotakota. Appearing before court she pleaded not guilty but the state paraded 7 witnesses and she was found guilty for the charges.
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 Mbale did is a serious offence and stealing from the villagers is in human ,he therefore sentenced her to 40 months imprisonment for the 6 counts and the sentences to run consecutively.
Mbale hails from Chingala Kadoko Village, in the area of Traditional Authority Kaluluma in Kasungu District.
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