THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a 21-year-old scammer of Mtendere township to two years imprisonment for obtaining money by false pretences and personation.

When the matter came up for sentencing, Friday, magistrate Changa Chitabo said Paul Kawewe was entitled to leniency being a first offender and also having readily pleaded guilty, but noted that there was an increase in the number of people being swindled online by people like him.

Magistrate Chitabo said such people deserved a custodial sentence.

“I sentence the accused to two years imprisonment in each of the counts. He will only serve two years because the sentences will run concurrently,” said magistrate Chitabo.

Earlier on in his mitigation, Kawewe asked for forgiveness saying he was an only child and was also taking care of his family.

He added that he completed his Grade 12 and was supposed to go to college for further studies.

Kawewe was charged with two counts of obtaining money by false pretences and personation.

In count one, Kawewe on July 11, 2021 in Lusaka, falsely represented himself as a businessman and owner of a company called Chanda Brian Two Thousand, an online business operating on Facebook selling shoes and clothes, when in fact not.

In count two, Kawewe on November 28, 2021, obtained K3,500 from Musama Mwaba by pretending that he had an iPhone for sale when in fact not.

Facts before court were that on November 28, 2021, Mwaba, one of the complainants, came across an advert on Instagram which advertised an iPhone as being on sale.

She liked it and got in touch with the accused, who was advertising and selling the phone at K3,500.

Mwaba was told to send the money via airtel and Kawewe confirmed having received the money but blocked her.

In the charge of personation, Kawewe used Brian Chanda‘s account to advertise on all social media platforms, purporting that he was the owner when in fact not.

Chanda only came to notice when various customers started approaching him, and he reported the matter to Chelstone Police Station.

Kawewe was then arrested and taken to court where he admitted the charges.