THE Kitwe High Court has upheld the conviction of a Ndola-based pastor who was sent to jail for obtaining money by false pretences when he pretended to own a nursing school.
High Court Judge Chilombo Phiri upheld the conviction of Tulipo Mwenefumbo of Christian Ministers Church in Ndola after dismissing his appeal against his conviction by the lower court.
Mwenefumbo, who is also the executive director at Alliance for World Missions University College, was sentenced to four years imprisonment with hard labour on four counts of obtaining money by false pretences.
He appealed against his conviction on grounds that the magistrate erred in law because the evidence did not contain the ingredients to convict and did not constitute the offence of obtaining money by false pretences.
Mwenefumbo was initially charged with eight counts of obtaining various amounts of money between June 2011 and August 25, 2012.
In the first count, it was alleged that Mwenefumbo obtained K15, 640 from Chikwanda Mwale by falsely pretending that he had a college offering a nursing course.
In the second and third counts, he allegedly obtained K6, 190 and K5, 940 from Ireen Musonda and Grace Masanyinga while in the fourth and fifth counts, Mwenefumbo allegedly obtained K2, 840 from Moses Chomba and K2,740 from Betty Musamba.
It was alleged in the sixth count that Mwenefumbo obtained K4, 440 from Jackson Chishala and in the seventh and eighth counts; he allegedly obtained K3, 640 from Ian Mkandawire and K3, 990 from Griance Changwe respectively.
Mwenefumbo was however acquitted in four counts and jailed 12 months each on the other four counts.
In dismissing his appeal against his conviction, Ms Justice Phiri said she was satisfied that the intent to defraud and obtain money by false pretences had been proved.
She said the appellant deceived the complainants that he was offering nursing courses when not and that there was misrepresentation on the part of the college which was false pretences under section 308 of the criminal procedure code.
“The executive director can be held criminally liable and be convicted for offences committed by the company, the company acts through its agents or directors and therefore the appeal against the conviction fails and is dismissed,” said the Judge.
Ms Justice Phiri however set aside the imposition of the sentences for 12 months for four counts and to run consecutively and observed that consecutively was against the principles of sentencing.
She ordered that the sentence would run concurrently meaning Mwenefumbo would serve his jail term for 12 months.
Times of Zambia