A COUPLE of Lusaka’s Matero area has pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of obtaining over K600,000 by false pretences.

In this matter, Charles Banda, 51 and Agness Banda, 29, are charged with 13 counts of obtaining money by false pretences contrary to Section 309 of the penal code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.

In the first count, the duo on unknown dates but between June 2017 and March 2021 in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together, with intent to deceive and defraud obtained K88,000 from Nyambe Lyoko by falsely pretending that they had land for sale when in fact not.

In a similar fashion, the accused are alleged to have obtained K31,000 from Precious Mamba, K31,000 from Louis Mukuka, K154,672 from Annie Phiri Silondwa and K27,000 from Zondwe Mutatula in the second, third, fourth and fifth counts respectively.

Other than that, the accused are alleged to have obtained K28,750 from Hellen Kunda Mwanza, K35,600 from Charity Musonda and K32,000 from Regina Safeli Mutale, among others.

When the matter came up for trial before Magistrate Jennifer Bwalya, the state made an application to amend the indictment and include three more victims to the matter, including Agnes who was earlier excluded.

The accused persons then took a fresh plea, denying all 13 charges.

After plea was taken, the state said they were ready to proceed with the matter but the defence indicated that they were not ready for trial as they had just been served with the updated indictment and needed time to prepare and get instructions from their clients.

The case was then adjourned to September 24, for mention and October 6, for commencement of trial.