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Chipata resident weeps after being acquitted on false pretences charge

A CHIPATA resident on Monday wept in court after being acquitted in a case where she and her sister were charged with obtaining money by false pretences. This is the matter where Bibi and Zubeda Abdulla Valli were alleged to have obtained K28,100 from Richard Portier under the pretext that it was for child maintenance that the Dutch national fathered with their ‘daughter’ named Michelle.

It was alleged that the duo on unknown dates but between November 1, 2016 and January 2, 2017 jointly and whilst acting together obtained K28,100 from Portier claiming that it was for child maintenance. Portier, who was the first prosecution witness, said in May 2015, he had a sexual relationship with Michelle and that the two accused persons claimed that they were her mother and aunt.

He told the court that the two sisters swindled him out of a lot of money, claiming it was for spouse payment and child maintenance.

Portier said he was disappointed that he was informed that he had a baby but it turned out to be untrue. And Tite Phiri, 48, of Kaulembe in chief Mshawa’s area told the court that Michelle was her daughter and that her real name was Mary Zulu, who was born in 1988. She said her daughter was never pregnant during the stated period and that her second born – the last child she had – was born in 2006.

Phiri said she was disappointed to learn that there were some people who claimed to be her daughter’s parents. She said she never received any money that was paid for spouse payment and other monies relating to the matter. Passing judgment, principal resident magistrate Jennifer Bwalya said there was insufficient evidence to show that the accused obtained the said money from Portier.

Magistrate Bwalya observed that Portier was surrounded by deceivers. She said Portier never showed any evidence to prove that he gave the monies to the two accused persons. After being acquitted, Zubeda wept.

The two sisters were later seen hugging a lawyer from the Legal Aid Board.

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