The Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has sentenced 39-year-old Lameck Zanjo to 3-years imprisonment with hard labour for fraudulently stealing two cellphones and K250,000 from two women who wanted to be given charms to help them find good jobs in South Africa.
The court heard through state prosecutor Sergeant John Makawa that, the two women aged 24 and 30 were on November 7, 2021 coming from the main market when they saw a sign post written “Dr Padiwa Sasewera traditional healer” within Mangochi township.
The duo diverted to the place to seek charms of fortune which would help them find good jobs in South Africa as they were planning to travel.
They met Zanjo and he demanded a fee of K350,000 cash to solve their problem.
The two victims paid K250,000 cash and also surrendered their cellphones as top up since they had insufficient cash.
Prosecutor Makawa added that the three agreed to meet the next day for the journey but the victims were shocked not to find Zanjo as agreed. They found that the signpost had been removed.
The matter was reported at Mangochi Police Station and Zanjo was apprehended on December 17, 2021 by members of the community policing forum who handed him over to police.
Appearing in court, Zanjo pleaded not guilty to the charge of stealing and the state paraded three witnesses who proved the case beyond any reasonable doubt.
In mitigation, Zanjo asked for the court’s leniency, saying that he is an orphan.
However, prosecutor Makawa argued that such cases are rampant in the district. The prosecutor further said that the convict’s behavior could also dent the image of traditional healers hence the need for a stiff and custodial sentence.
Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state, hence the 3-year maximum sentence to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.
Lameck Zanjo hails from Mtalimanja Village, Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi.