The Karonga First Grade Magistrate’s Court on January 31, 2020 convicted and sentenced a 33-year-old Wezie Welani to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour for the offence of cheating contrary to section 321 of the penal code.
Public Prosecutor, Inspector Oscar Mulungu told the court that on December 10, 2019 by means of fraudulent trick Welani obtained K200, 000 from Rose Mwangalaba thereby exchanging the money with note book papers. He further told the court that this money was meant for Timber and Welani pretended to be a timber seller who would give her timber of the said amount of money.
On a similar count, Mulungu told the court that Welani also obtained K20, 000 from Blessings Kyumba on December 31, 2019 by promising to give him Fertilizer.
Welani pleaded not guilty to both counts and this prompted the state to parade three witnesses to prove the allegation beyond reasonable doubt.
Upon analysis of the evidence presented before the court, Welani was found guilty in both counts.
In submission, Mulungu narrated that the case is a misdemeanor. However, he asked for a stiff punishment as cases of this nature are becoming rampant in the district as well as across the country. He added that the money in question in all the allegations is not recovered.
In mitigation, Welani asked the court to forgive him because he looks after his brothers.
Before giving judgement, First Grade Magistrate Julius Kalambo concurred with the state that the case is a misdemeanor and common in Karonga as well as across the country. Thereafter, the court sentenced him to 24 months on the first count and 15 months on the second count.
The two sentences will run simultaneously.
Wezzie Welani hails from Chimatiro Village in the area of Tradition Authority Sawali in Balaka.
Sub Inspector Frank Black
Deputy Public Relations Officer
Karonga Police Station