PRISCILLA CHIPULU, Lusaka
THE Lusaka Magistrate’s Court has sentenced former Zambia Army officer Clement Kanyembo to 18 months imprisonment with
hard labour for obtaining money by false pretences.
Kanyembo obtained K2,400 from four people in 2013 after promising them that he would facilitate their recruitment as soldiers in the army.
When the matter came up for judgment yesterday, the court heard that Kanyembo was charging his fellow Lunda men K700 while those from other tribes were paying him K1,000.
Kanyembo was a clerk under the transport directorate of the Zambia Army and he had no authority to recruit soldiers.
Kanyembo also told the people he promised jobs in the army to resign from their respective workplaces.
And in his defence, Kanyembo admitted having collected the money which he said was meant to assist potential recruits to go through medicals.
His defence did not convince the court.
“I find that the prosecution proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and I therefore convict you accordingly,” magistrate Prince Mwiinga said.
In mitigation, Kanyembo pleaded for a suspended sentence saying he had been in detention since January this year and had been suffering from tuberculosis.
Kanyembo said he was a first offender and a father of four. He said he deserved leniency.
“Your honour, I have my ailing mother who has been suffering from diabetes and asthma. She needs special treatment. My daughter is in college and she has been chased from school for non-payment of fees.
“As a girl child, she will be a liability to society if I don’t provide for her. That is why I am asking to be given a suspended sentence so that I look after my family,” he pleaded.
But magistrate Mwiinga said he was compelled to reject a non-custodial sentence because Kanyembo had jumped bail during trial, adding that his suffering was self-induced.
Meanwhile, the court has issued a bench warrant to International Ministries Fellowship and Affiliation apostle Paul Mulenga for not showing up in court in a matter in which he is charged with swindling his followers.
When the matter came up for judgment yesterday, Mulenga was not before the court and magistrate Alice Walusiku could not deliver the verdict.
Magistrate Walusiku has set July 13 as the date for judgment in Mulenga’s case.