A 58-year-old farmer of Lusaka’s Mtendere East has been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment with hard labour for forging a National Registration Card (NRC), a Certificate of Title and obtaining K200,000 cash by false pretences.
Lusaka Magistrate Humphrey Chitalu observed that although the 58-year-old farmer deserved leniency, the Court had to mete out a stiff punishment because the convict swindled people out of K200,000 when money was very difficult to come by.
In this matter, Jethro Nduna who is also a bricklayer, was facing two counts of forgery, two counts of uttering false documents and one count of obtaining money by false pretences.
Particulars of the offence in the first count were that on unknown dates, but between January 1 and February 28, last year, in Lusaka, Nduna forged an NRC bearing number 442963/45/1 in the names of Terrence Chabe.
In count two, on the same dates, Nduna knowingly uttered a false NRC bearing number 442963/45/1 in the names of Terrence Chabe to Joseph Kapambwe Mulenga.
In count three, Nduna jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown, and with intent to deceive or defraud, forged a Certificate of Title bearing number 132727.
In count four, Nduna knowingly, uttered a false document, namely a Certificate of Title bearing number 132727 to Josephine Kapambwe Mulenga.
And in count five, Nduna with intent to deceive or defraud did obtain K200,000 cash from Joseph Kapambwe Mulenga by falsely pretending to be Terence Chabe when in fact not.
Nduna had initially pleaded not guilty in February, last year, and trial had commenced, but he, however, changed his plea after a year and admitted the charges.
The matter came up yesterday before Lusaka Magistrate Humphrey Chitalu for facts and sentencing.
Facts in this matter were that between January 1 and February 28, last year, Nduna forged an NRC card number 442963/45/1 in the names of Terrence Chabe and on verification with National Registration Passport and Citizen Office, it was discovered that the number did not exist in their date base.
Nduna also presented the said forged NRC to Joseph Kapambwe Mulenga, a civil engineer based in Lusaka.
The accused also forged a Certificate of Title bearing number 132727 and presented the same to Mulenga and on verification of the said title deed with Ministry of Lands, it was discovered that the title deed did not belong to Nduna, but to Terence Chabe who received it after a Deed of Gift transfer from his father, Sabastian Chabe.
Nduna also received money amounting to K200,000 from Joseph Kapambwe Mulenga for the said plot that the convict advertised with other unknown persons.
The matter was reported to the police by Joseph Mulenga, which led to the revelation of fraudulent activities by the convict.
On investigation, it was discovered that the convict was not Terrence Chabe, but Jethro Nduna and that the plot in question never belonged to him.
He was later arrested and charged for the subject offence.
In mitigation, Nduna asked the Court and the complainant for leniency and forgiveness.
“I’m asking for leniency from this Court! I have been in custody from February 20, 2018, up to now, and I have learnt a lot in a difficult way.”
However, Magistrate Chitalu said money was hard to come by nowadays.
Magistrate Chitalu then sentenced Nduna to 36 months’ imprisonment with hard labour for each count, to be served concurrently.
“The convict swindled people about K200,000 and money is very difficult to come by. I, therefore, sentence the convict to 36 months’ imprisonment with hard labour on each of the five counts, which will run concurrently, with effect from February 20, 2018,” ruled Magistrate Chitalu.