The Kitwe High Court last week sentenced an 84-year-old woman of Ndeke township in Kitwe to 30 days simple imprisonment for obtaining pecuniary advantage by false pretences.
In 2011, Elizabeth Maimbolwa sold a house at K110,000 but after the buyer made full payment, she rescinded her decision and only refunded K70,000.Maimbolwa left a balance of K40,000, which she declined to pay.
In December 2013, Maimbolwa was jailed and sentenced to two years simple imprisonment by the Kitwe subordinate court, which was suspended on condition that she refunded the K40,000 she owed the complainant. Maimbolwa, on December 29, 2011 in Kitwe, obtained K110,000 cash, a transaction she made herself liable to, but in whole neglected to pay.
Maimbolwa appealed against both the conviction and the sentence imposed on her by the subordinate court.
But in his judgment delivered on Wednesday, High Court judge Dominic Sichinga dismissed Maimbolwa’s appeal.Mr Justice Sichinga said the trial court was on firm ground to convict Maimbolwa.
“I have no doubt that the appellant was deceptive and the trial court came to its conclusion upon evaluating all the evidence on record,” Mr Justice Sichinga said.
He observed that Maimbolwa, in her mitigation before the lower court, was defiant and vowed never to return the money.Mr Justice Sichinga, however, noted that he had not come across any authority which gave a convict an alternative of a suspended sentence if they refunded the money owed.
He quashed the sentence imposed by the subordinate court and in its place imposed a 30-day simple imprisonment sentence on Maimbolwa.Mr Justice Sichinga granted Maimbolwa leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.Mr Justice Sichinga said he was mindful of Maimbolwa’s age in imposing the 30-day simple imprisonment sentence.