LUSAKA Magistrates Court yesterday jailed a 65-year-old business woman of Lusaka for 12 months after she admitted forging a title deed and obtaining K150,000 by false pretences.
Mary Chileshe of Kamwala South was jailed after she told Magistrate Sylvia Munyinya that she forged a certificate of title and obtained the money without lawful authority.
In sentencing her, Magistrate Munyinya said she considered what was said in mitigation but she could not acquit Chileshe who was a second offender.
Ms Munyinya said a custodial sentence was best for Chileshe as it would deter other would-be offenders from committing similar offences.
She sentenced Chileshe to 12 months imprisonment on counts one to three which were to run concurrently. Chileshe was in count one charged with forgery contrary to section 342 of the laws of Zambia.
She, on February 1 and 25 last year with intent to defraud and deceive jointly and while acting with others unknown, did forge a certificate of title no. 32738 and a National Registration Card no. 138760/67/1 in the names of Christine Machona Chifunyise purporting to show that it was genuinely issued to her by the Ministry of Lands when in fact not. Chileshe was in count two facing a charge of obtaining money by false pretences contrary to section 309 of the laws of Zambia.
She is on the same dates jointly and while acting with others unknown did obtain K 150,000 cash from Esther Mulenga by falsely pretending that Ms Chifunyise, the owner of the land bearing certificate of title no. 32738, was offered to her when in fact not.
Facts on record were that the complainant, Esther Mulenga who is a based in the United States, came to Zambia with a view of buying a plot.
She saw an advert in the Post Newspaper where the accused advertised that she was selling a plot. Ms Mulenga called the number and spoke with the accused whom she managed to meet the same day.
The accused told Ms Mulenga that she was a widow and she was selling the land in question because she had challenges she wanted to solve.
Ms Mulenga then made a down payment of K150,000 from the agreed amount of K300,000 and that she would pay the balance after she had finalized the verification from Ministry of Lands. Ms Mulenga decided to go back to the US but instructed her sister that she should pay the accused her balance after a title deed was handed over to her.
But before the final verification the accused started calling Ms Mulenga’s sister to pay her the balance. Ms Mulenga’s sister went to the Ministry of Lands were it was discovered that the land in question did not belong to Chileshe.
The matter was reported to the police and Chileshe was arrested and charged for the subject offence.