A former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for duping his ex-boss out of K24,000.
According to Eastern Region Police Spokesperson Joseph Sauka, the ex-army officer Charles Mpaya, 38, was also convicted of impersonating a brigadier at the MDF.
Sauka said the Zomba Principal Resident Magistrate court heard that Mpaya on 4th March, 2019 while posing as Brigadier Soko who is Chief of Military Operations, called his former boss Major ASO Nyirenda telling him that he was in Mangochi for personal business and had run short of fuel.
He then requested Nyirenda to send him K24,000 through Airtel money saying that he will refund the following day.
To Nyirenda’s surprise, days passed without hearing anything from Brigadier Soko. After calling Soko, it was discovered that Nyirenda was duped.
The military started investigating the case which led to the arrest of Mpaya.
The ex-soldier was surrendered to Zomba Police Station where he was charged with two counts of fraudulent transaction contrary to section 92 of the Electronic Transaction Act as well as personating a public officer contrary to section 99(b) of the Penal code.
When he appeared before court, Mpaya pleaded not guilty to the charges a development that made the Police to parade four witnesses and the convict was found guilty and consequently convicted.
In his submission before sentence, Police prosecutor Chambuluka asked the court to consider giving the convict a stiffer sentence considering that these cases are now becoming rampant in the country.
In mitigation, Mpaya asked for a lenient sentence saying that he has school going children to look after.
On September 11, 2019, his worship Principal Resident Magistrate Benedictus Chitsakamire concurred with the state on the need to pass a stiffer sentence. He said the nature of which the offence was committed shows the extent of the convict’s criminal mind.
The magistrate therefore sentenced Mpaya to 36 months for fraudulent transaction and 42 months for personating a public officer but the sentences are to run concurrently.
Charles Mpaya comes from Belomdoko village, Traditional Authority Mabulabo in Mzimba district.