Masumba sent to jail

THE Lusaka High Court yesterday upheld a 12-month jail sentence slapped on former Deputy Minister of Sports Stephen Masumba for using a forged       diploma to obtain employment.

Masumba had appealed against both the conviction and sentence by the subordinate court. High Court Judge Chalwe Mchenga dismissed the appeal.

This is in a case in which the parliamentarian was found guilty of forging the diploma from the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA).

Masumba had used an erroneously issued NIPA accounting technician diploma to get a job at the Lusaka Business and Technical College as an accounting officer.

Judge Mchenga dismissed all four grounds of appeal because the prosecution proved their case beyond reasonable doubt.

He said the Lusaka magistrate court was on firm ground when it convicted Masumba of the offence of obtaining pecuniary advantage by false pretences when he used a forged accounting technician diploma to get employment.

Judge Mchenga noted that the trial court was also on firm ground when it chose not to believe Masumba’s testimony regarding his results.

He said Masumba knew or should have been privy to the manipulation of results he intended to rely on.

Judge Mchenga added that Masumba was not supposed to graduate as he did not sit for the examination.

He said Masumba’s conviction and 12 months sentence should not come with a sense of shock or as being too high considering that the maximum sentence for the offence is five years.

But instead, the Judge said, Masumba should consider himself lucky as there was no evidence that he paid someone to forge his diploma.

Masumba had appealed against both his conviction and sentence claiming that the trial court erred in fact and law when it found him guilty of the offence.

However, Masumba’s lawyer Mutakela Lisimba said he would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.