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Mzomera Sentenced to 4 years in Jail for Abusing LDF Funds

Ngwira: after sentencing Ngwira: after sentencing Photo by Vanani Nyirenda

Vocal Democratic Progressive Party Regional Governor for the North Christopher Mzomera Ngwira was on October 16 slapped with a four-year jail term for abuse of office in the use of Local Development Fund LDF meant for construction of a teacher’s house at Lukwelukwe primary school when he was Member of Parliament for Mzimba Hora. 

Passing his judgment on Thursday, Senior Resident Magistrate Mathews Msiska said the four-year sentence is meant to deter others from committing similar offenses.

Among others Msiska said as a member of parliament then also a Reverend, Ngwira should have been aware of the consequences of his actions thereby shooting down the defense lawyer’s mitigations where they among others stated that Ngwira would feel ashamed if given a custodial sentence.

He further explained that the sentence runs from the day he was convicted and remanded at Mzimba prison. 

While ACB lawyer Chrispin Nkhunga said the state is happy with the sentence, defense lawyer Victor Gondwe said his client has instructed him to appeal the case.

Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira was arrested by the graft busting body in 2018 over abuse of office in the use of LDF resources. 

It is said that Ngwira dubiously awarded a contract to Taonga Traders and Yogi to supply building materials for the teachers’ house at Lukwelukwe primary school while sidelining the school project implementation committee.

Ngwira is also said to have instructed project implementation committee members to sign a blank cheque without indicating a figure which he later altered to 650,000 kwacha. 

However, the figure had to be trimmed to 250,000 kwacha after he paid back a sum of 400,000 kwacha according to the ACB.

DPP high-ranking officials including Kondwani Nankhumwa, Simon Vuwa Kaunda, and people from Mzimba Hora Constituency attended the sentencing at the Mzimba magistrate court.

 

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