Woman slapped with 20 years for stealing K10 million

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The Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Mzuzu has sentenced a 37-year-old woman to 20 years in jail for stealing over K10 million from villagers in Mzimba.

Court through State prosecutor Sub-inspector Lyson Kachikondo heard that the woman, Esther Mbale, between the months of September and October 2016 visited six villages within Mzimba and lied that she was 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 free fertilizer.

Each beneficiary was told to contribute K2,500 for transportation in order to receive the fertilizer.

She then collected from the villagers money amounting to K10,567,500. But months passed without the villagers getting the fertilizer and the woman was nowhere to be found.

The matter was reported to police and investigations led to the arrest of the woman in Nkhotakota.

She was charged with six counts of obtaining money by false pretence contrary to section 301(1) of the penal code.

Appearing before court, she pleaded not guilty but the state paraded seven witnesses and she was found guilty of the charges.

In her mitigation, she pleaded with the court that she should be given ample time to look for the K10 million and pay back to the villagers.

When passing judgement, His worship Brian Sambo said what Mbale did is a serious offence as stealing from the villagers is inhumane.

He therefore sentenced her to 40 months imprisonment for each of the six counts saying the sentences will run consecutively.

Mbale hails from Chingala Kadoko Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kaluluma in Kasungu District.

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