4 panga-weilding thugs jailed 15 years for attacking retired Malawi judge

The Blantyre Magistrates Court has sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) four men who attacked and robbed retired High Court judge and diplomat, Friday Louis Makuta in Michiru, Blantyre in March this year.

The four are Chisomo Bishoni, 20, from Zomba, Jailosi Malikebu, 22, from Mulanje, Gift Chiwaya, 33, from Zomba and Lloyd Likagwa, 44, from Machinga.

According to Chilomoni Police Prosecutor, sub-inspector, Amos Mwase, the suspects broke into retired Justice Makuta’s house in Michiru in wee hours of March 7th and physically attacked him before stealing a short gun, laptop, TV screen, mountain bike, kitchen utensils, music system, mobile phones and K20, 000 cash among other items.

The accused, according to sub-inspector Mwase, armed with panga knives, overpowered and tied security guards before breaking the main door.justice

“The criminals made a hole through the victim’s house brick fence. They broke the main door protectors with sharp crowbars and entered the house. They also broke his bedroom door protectors with the same sharp crowbars and [they] entered and assaulted [him],” he said.

Sub-inspector Mwase told the court that the crime was one of the major offences deserving life-time imprisonment punishment, adding the victim is high profile figure in the society therefore requires consideration.

“It was well-planned and calculated theft, and the attack affected the victim’s health who currently experiencing memory loss. And considering that some of the stolen items have not been recovered, the culprits deserve custodial sentence,” Mwase told the court.

State paraded seven witnesses including investigative officers who managed to apprehend the accused and recovered some of the stolen items.

In mitigation, the accused pleaded for leniency as they argued that some of them are family bread winners and lamented that prison conditions were unbearable, hence the need for consideration.

But in his ruling, Principle Residence Magistrate, Innocent Nebi said the court could not take into consideration the culprits’ mitigation factors as the committed offence was big in nature.

“They attacked a high profile person, and it is indicated the crime was planned, so as a lesson to others I sentence the accused to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour,” Nebi read out his judgment.

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