A 24-year-old employee of the Livingstone City Council has been sentenced to three years imprisonment with hard labour for obtaining money by false pretence.
Meanwhile, the court in Livingstone has warned that it will not treat with kid gloves any person who will be found guilty of illegal land deals.
Appearing before Magistrate Willie Sinyangwe on Wednesday was Kelvin Mushitu, 24, who was charged with one count of obtaining money by false pretense contrary to section 309 of the Penal Code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia. He pleaded guilty. Facts before the court were that on January 5, 2015, Mushitu did obtain K20,000 from Mwewa Chilufya by falsely pretending that he had a plot for sale in Highlands area of Livingstone when in fact not.
The court heard that after Mushitu was paid the money, Mr. Chilufya started demanding for the documentation of the plot but the convict failed to produce them. It was later discovered that the plot which Mushitu showed Mr. Chilufya was not his, a situation which prompted him to demand for a refund and later reported the matter to the Livingstone Central Police.
Mushitu was later arrested and charged with the subject offence.
In mitigation, Mushitu asked the court if he could be allowed to pay back the K20, 000 in instalments of K500 per month.
But Magistrate Sinyangwe in his sentence said that it was sad that Mushitu as an employee of the council took advantage of his victim and defrauded him of his hard earned money.
“Your victim paid you his hard earned money in two instalments. Today you even have the audacity to tell me that you want to pay back after 14 months down the line,” he asked.
Magistrate Sinyangwe said land in Livingstone had become scarce and many unsuspecting potential developers were being defrauded by people such as Mushitu who is an employee of the council and paid to serve the people.
“I will be failing in my duties if I don’t give them the protection they need. I wish to sound this warning today that any person found guilty in these illegal matters will not be treated with kid gloves if brought here.
The council is there to serve the people and not those connected to the council to take advantage of those in need of land,” he said.
Magistrate Sinyangwe then sentenced Mushitu to three years imprisonment with hard labour.