3 accountants jailed 120 years

CHALI MULENGA, Livingstone
A MAGISTRATES’ court in Livingstone has sentenced three accountants to a total of 120 years imprisonment after finding them guilty of 12 counts of money laundering, fraud and theft by servant involving about K750,000.
But they will serve only five years each because their sentences will run concurrently.
Dennis Musaba, management accountant, Fisher Kandula, data accountant, and Faides Mwanza, assistant accountant, were convicted of five counts of fraudulent false accounting and one count of theft by servant.
Musaba was found guilty of three counts of money laundering while Kandula and Mwanza had one count each.
The court acquitted the fourth accused person, Daliso Moyo, for lack of evidence.
The accountants committed the offences between April 28, 2008 and November 21, 2008.
They stole a total of US$75,641.15 from Bush Tracks, their employer, by issuing double payments.
Magistrate Edsen Shanduba said Musaba had 10 counts and would serve five years imprisonment for each, Kandula and Mwanza had seven counts each and would also serve five years for each count.
He told the convicts that their sentences would run concurrently, meaning they would each only serve five years imprisonment with hard labour.
Mr Shanduba said when delivering judgment and sentences last Friday that the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA), through Bob Mwewa, had proved its case.
“Their defence can’t be believed as there is overwhelming evidence against them from the State. The three were accountants, it is the accused persons who were responsible for the payment system at their company,” Mr Shanduba said.
He said the US$75,641.15 Kandula, Musaba and Mwanza stole from Bush Tracks was a lot of money which they even used to acquire some properties.
“I find the accused persons guilty as charged and convict them accordingly,” he said.
State prosecutor Charles Nyambe told the court that the convicts were first offenders.
Mr Shanduba said although the convicts were first offenders, they only had themselves to blame.
“You were employed as accountants and you were involved in fraudulent double payments. The act is criminal and it is very unfortunate that people can steal in the day and others in the night,” he said.
Mr Shanduba said it is the duty of his court to ensure that lawbreakers are punished.

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