The Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Mzuzu has convicted and sentenced Esther Mbale, 37 years to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour for the charge of obtaining money by false pretence contrary to section 301(1) of the penal code.
The court through State prosecutor Sub inspector Lyson Kachikondo heard that between the months of September and October 2016 she visited six villages within Mzimba District that she is working with a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) named as 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”, said Mzuzu Police deputy police publist Cecilia Mfune.
The matter was reported to police and investigations were instituted 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 charge.
In her mitigation she pleaded with the court that she should be given 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.