Masumba must be jailed

Former Sports Deputy Minister Stephen Masumba must be jailed because the trial magistrate convicted him on evidence that he forged the certificate in Accounting, says the State.

The State has urged Lusaka High Court Judge Chalwe Mchenga to uphold both the conviction and the 12 month sentence of Masumba.

The former deputy minister was convicted of the offence of obtaining pecuniary advantage by false pretences contrary to section 309A (1) of the penal code.

In their final submissions, the State has submitted in ground one that the trial court was on firm ground when it held that the evidence on record proved the case against Masumba beyond reasonable doubt.

The State has also said the evidence on record was to the effect that Masumba did not pass the Basic Accounting course and that he did not sit for the Audit and Taxation course.

It has argued that Masumba knew or ought to have known that he did not pass the Basic Accounting Course and indeed he missed the Audit and Taxation examination.

The submission further state that it was for this reason that Masumba did not deserve to graduate at that particular graduation ceremony and that the diploma was not due to him.

The state further argued that Masumba took advantage of the error of the institution and falsely pretended as having cleared the courses required for him to graduate when in fact not.

The state added that Masumba obtained a diploma knowing very well that it was erroneously conferred on him and got employment at Lusaka Business and Technical College as an Account’s clerk based on a false diploma.

The state further added that the Director of the college employed Masumba not only because he believed that the diploma was duly issued by NIPA, but because he was made to believe that Masumba was qualified.

In ground two of the submissions, the State argued that the trial court was on firm ground when it sentenced Masumba to a term of 12 months imprisonment with hard labour notwithstanding the factors that the court took into consideration when passing sentence.

The State further argued that the sentence imposed should not come to the High court with a sense of shock as being too high considering that the maximum sentence of the offence is five years.

Masumba appealed to the Lusaka High Court to quash both the conviction and sentence.

He was convicted by the Lusaka Magistrate court for obtaining pecuniary advantage by false presences.

This is in a case in which Masumba had used an erroneously issued National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) accounting technician diploma to get a job at the Lusaka Business and Technical College as an accounting officer.

Masumba was convicted after Magistrate Wilson Muma ruled that he did not find any truth in Mr Masumba’s evidence.

He said it was clear that Masumba used the qualifications he erroneously obtained to find a job.

The court set August 8 for the appeal ruling.