As many Malawians in rural areas are enjoying sweet fruits of Village Savings groups popularly known as Banki Mnkhonde, some are eating sour fruits.
One of such people is 33 year-old Matinasi Lubani from Ntchisi who has been handed a 15-month jail sentence for abusing over K162,000.
Lubani was a treasurer for Tithandizane Village Group and she took advantage of her position to use the group’s money.
During a hearing at Ntchisi second grade magistrate court, Lubani pleaded guilty to the theft charge levelled against her.
She told the court that she had a lot of problems at her home and that made her to commit the offence. She said she used some of the money to pay school fees for her secondary school child.
Passing the sentence, Second Grade Magistrate Young Ngoma said cases of members of Village Savings stealing money from their groups are common in the district hence there was a need to hand a stiff penalty to the offender to deter others.
The magistrate then sentenced Lubani to 15 months imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) or to serve a suspended sentence if she pays back the money to the group.
Lubani hails from Chipelela village in Traditional Authority Kalumo in the district.