MUSOMA District Court has sentenced Laurence Mbaso (62) to seven years imprisonment after convicting him on two counts of obtaining money by false pretences and pretending to be a public servant.
Mbaso, a resident of Butiama District’s Butuguri Village ,who is also opposition party CHADEMA’s District Secretary, was handed the verdict by senior District Magistrate, Richard Baraka after the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt to all the counts.
During the course of the hearing, the prosecutor, Theophil Mazige, alleged that on 27 January, this year, around 09:30am at the court’s compound, the accused lied to one Monica Hokororo that he was a government state attorney, ready to issue legal services to her relative who had a pending case at the court.
Mazige further alleged that the accused convinced the victim to pay him 300,000/- for legal representation and handed him down payment of 180,000/- while in actual sense knowingly that he was not a state attorney.
The Prosecutor continued that after the victim had paid him the money, she later learnt from well-wishers that the suspect was not an attorney as he claimed and raised alarm to the police, who were nearby, thus, he was apprehended and later charged.
“During his arrest, he was still in possession of the down payment amounting to 180,000/- in his pockets.”
Before the verdict, the prosecution agitated for a stern punishment taking into consideration that being a law university graduate, the suspect was also a political leader who by virtue of his position was expected to lead by example.
During the suspect’s mitigation plea, he requested for a lesser punishment citing that he was suffering from diabetes as well as taking care of a family and added he was poised to loose retirement benefits being an opposition official.
But, the Magistrate jailed the convict for seven years to serve as a lesson to other would be culprits, after he was found guilty of both counts the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt.
“Thus, you will serve two years for obtaining money by false pretence and five years for pretending to be a public servant and you will spend a total of seven years behind bars as an example for would-be culprits.”