A 39 -year- old woman of Livingstone has been sentenced to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour for obtaining money by false pretence.Appearing before Siavonga Magistrate Austern Mubita was Blessings Alice Phiri charged with one count of obtaining money by false pretence contrary to the laws of Zambia.Particulars of the offence were that on an unknown date but between 1st and 21st October, 2021 with intent to defraud, Phiri did obtain money from Raymond Malunga amounting to K 25,000. The court heard that Malunga on the date he can not remember but between 1st and 20th October, 2021 , he was at a bus station in Nyimba where he had gone to buy groundnuts.The court further heard that whilst at the bus station, Malunga was approached by Phiri and said she was a business lady who was selling Kapenta and eventually they exchanged their phone numbers.It was recorded that Malunga later left Nyimba for Lusaka and that when he reached Lusaka he received a phone call from Phiri telling him that she was already in Siavonga and that she had found 20 bags of Kapenta going at K 1,500 per bag.However, Malunga told Phiri that he did not have the money ready as he had not yet sold the groundnuts. Phiri then offered to help Malunga by using her money which he agreed to and said he was going to refund her when he joins her in Siavonga.The court heard that on 20th October, 2021, Malunga came to Siavonga where he managed to link up with Phiri on 21st October.When they met, Malunga told Phiri that he was going to get 17 bags and gave her K 15,000 cash and that he would give her the K10, 000 balance in Lusaka.After Phiri was given the money, she told Malunga that the bags of Kapenta which she bought were on a bus that had just left Siavonga going to Lusaka and that they should get into another bus to follow it.Upon arriving in Lusaka, Phiri told Malunga that the bags of Kapenta were at Intercity in a bus which was going to Nyimba. Malunga then booked a taxi to follow up a bus at Intercity bus station and give her K 10,000 balance as per agreed.When they reached Intercity the two went in a restaurant to eat first and Malunga the complainant bought Nshima for Phiri the accused. While she was eating, Phiri asked Malunga to help her buy a radio.Malunga then went to the shop to look for the radio as he was not eating. When he returned to the restaurant, he found Phiri #gone.He tried to look for her but could not locate her as she was not reachable.It was at that point when Malunga reported the matter to the police in Lusaka but he was advised to report the matter to the police in Siavonga where the offence was committed from.Malunga then engaged ZFI a private Agency of investigators who managed to track Phiri and locate her house in Lusaka.She was later apprehended and brought to Siavonga at the police station where investigations continued.The accused was interviewed, arrested and charged with the subject offence.Under warn and caution statement in Nyanja the language the accused appear to understand better, she gave a free and voluntary reply admitting the charge.In mitigation, Phiri asked for leniency from the court saying she was a single mother of six and also taking care of her sick mother.But in passing judgement, Magistrate Mubita noted that what the accused did was very shameful saying she was just supposed to ask for assistance and not engaging in a criminal activity.He said a jail sentence would serve as a deterrent measure for would be offenders.


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