Principal resident magistrate court in Zomba district has sentenced an ex-army officer Charles Mpaya aged 38 to 36 months imprisonment with hard labour for fraud and personating a public officer.

State prosecutor superintendent Patrick Chambuluka told the court that Mpaya on 4th March 2019 within Zomba city while posing as Brigadier Soko who is chief of military operations called his former boss major Aso Nyirenda that he was in Mangochi for personal business and has run short of fuel.

He then requested him to send 24000 kwacha through airtel money saying that he would refund the following day.

“To his surprise days passed without hearing anything from his boss and he thought of calling him to ask. After calling him it was discovered that he was duped as his boss denied to have called him on the issue,” said Chambuluka

They then through military police started investigating the case which led to the arrest of the convict and was surrendered to Zomba police where he was charged with 2 counts of fraudulent transaction and personating a public officer.

When he appeared before court Mpaya pleaded not guilty to the charges a development that made the police to parade four witnesses.

In his submission before sentence superintendent Chambuluka asked the court to consider giving the convict a stiffer sentence because such cases are becoming rampant in the country.

In mitigation Mpaya asked for a lenient sentence saying that he has school going children to look after.

“Passing sentence principal resident magistrate Benedictus Chitsakamire said the nature of the offence shows the extent of the convict’s criminal mind. He therefore sentenced him to 36 months imprisonment with hard labour for fraudulent transaction and 42 months for personating a public officer but the sentences will run concurrently,” Chambuluka  added

Charles Mpaya comes from Belomdoko village TA Mawulawo in Mzimba district.