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ZAMBIA: Lusaka pastor arrested over fake dollars

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A 28-YEAR-OLD Lusaka-based pastor has been sentenced to 38 months imprisonment for illegally possessing 772 pieces of US$100 counterfeit notes.

The pastor has been jailed together with a driver of Solwezi.

Pastor Nkambe Chasha, of Lusaka’s Chelstone township and Mathews Manjimela, 40, of Messenger township in Solwezi, who were sentenced yesterday by chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda.

The matter came up for sentencing of the duo, convicted on Friday last week.

Chasha and Manjimela were charged with one count of possessing counterfeit notes contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence are that on June 2, 2011 in Lusaka, the duo jointly and while acting together with other unknown persons did possess 772 pieces of US$100 counterfeit notes without lawful authority.

“I sentence each one of you to 38 months imprisonment with hard labour with effect from today [yesterday]. If you are not happy with my sentence, you have the right to appeal to the High Court,” Mr Banda said.

The magistrate said the senior clerk of court should immediately destroy the fake dollar notes. This was after he granted the prosecution an application to forfeit and destroy the notes.

Mr Banda said law enforcement agencies should address the matter of counterfeit currency seriously by rounding up people involved in the scam which has become rampant in Zambia.

He said he had listened to the duo’s mitigation that they are first offenders who deserve leniency but the offence of possessing counterfeit notes is suddenly becoming common and offenders need to be punished.

And the Ndola magistrates’ court has sentenced a 32-year-old garden boy to 15 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing his employer’s doors worth K2.5 million.

Acting chief resident magistrate Collins Lundah convicted William Mwewa of house number 005 Sinia compound after finding him guilty of the offence.

“Ten find that the prosecution proved their case and that the accused is guilty and I convict you as charged,” magistrate Lundah said.

Mwewa was facing one count of theft by servant contrary to section 265 and 278 of the Penal Code chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence are that on February 10, 2012 in Ndola, Mwewa while acting together with other persons unknown stole five mukwa doors worth K2.5 million from his employer, Cosmas Mpampi.

Mr Mpampi testified that he employed Mwewa as his garden boy and caretaker of his vacant house at 5B Lupili Road in Northrise.

“10 days later I took someone who wanted to see the house and noticed that one of the doors was not properly fixed and upon getting inside, I found that five doors were missing from their frames and it appears force was used to remove them. I asked the accused but he expressed ignorance,” Mpampi said.

In his defence, Mwewa confirmed that he had been employed as a garden boy and care-taker by the complainant but denied stealing the doors.

In cross-examination, he told the court that he was shown around the house and everything was intact.

In his ruling, magistrate Lundah said it was not in dispute that the doors went missing and Mwewa was the care-taker of the house who should have known about the missing doors.
He said Mwewa should have reported the matter if he was not the one who stole the doors.

“I am satisfied that the accused knew what happened and worked with others to remove the doors as he lived there,” magistrate Lundah said.

In mitigation, Mwewa said he was the bread-winner of his family and a first offender and asked for maximum leniency.

Magistrate Lundah took into consideration his mitigation but noted that the doors were not recovered and that crime does not pay.

“With this background, I sentence you to 15 months imprisonment with hard labour. You have the right to appeal if you are not happy with my judgement,” he said.