The court heard through the state prosecutor Hartwell Kachikonga that the convict who operates a laundry, stole the money on 9th February 2019 at the house of the victim when he went to deliver clothes which he had washed. And while the victim was in the house to place the washed clothes, the pastor took the money which he found the businessman counting and hid it inside his shirt.
When the businessman returned he found that his money was missing and upon asking the pastor denied having seen any of the said missing money.
Upon searching the convict thoroughly the victim found the money hidden in the shirt of the Pastor and he later reported the matter to Migowi Police Unit who later arrested and charged Mponela of theft which is contrary to section 278 of the penal code.
Appearing before First Grade Magistrate Damson Banda, the Pastor pleaded not guilty which prompted the state to parade witnesses who testified against him.
In his ruling, Banda found the Pastor guilty which led the State Prosecutor to ask for stiffer punishment to the convict so as to deter other would be offenders since cases of theft are now rampant in the district.
And in his sentence, Banda concurred with the State that indeed there is need for stiffer punishment and then sentenced Mponela to 15 months imprisonment with hard labour.
Mponela hails from Nkhuvinda Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mwambo in Zomba district.