The Lilongwe Magistrate Court has today Thursday passed custodial sentence to four Malawians found guilty of possessing and offering for sale human private parts.
The four are Samalani Jabu, Lufeyo Mphimbi, Erick Mwandira and Sabita Mwale and were arrested in the capital on May 24 this year.
Their arrest came after Mwandira and Mwale were caught at a filling station offering the body parts for sale at K8 million.
The two told police they were provided the private parts of a deceased person by Mphimbi, a mortuary supervisor and Jabu, a mortuary attendant at Kamuzu Central Hospital.
Mphimbi and Jabu were charged with two counts of removing tissues of a deceased person and supplying body tissues for gain while Mwandira and Mwale were charged with count of offering for sale human body tissues.
On Wednesday, the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa found the accused guilty of committing the offence and adjourned the case to Thursday for sentencing.
Prosecutor Cecilia Zangazanga, representing the state, prayed to the court to give the accused stiff custodial sentences because they were convicted after full trial and that the other two were public servants who had breachedtrust.
She also observed that such cases were increasing and a tough sentence on them would deter others from committing similar offence.
But Alemekezeke Mando, lawyer representing the four, pleaded the court not to give his clients custodial sentences but rather suspended sentences as they were all first offenders.
He also asked the magistrate to consider age, health and previous conduct for the accused when giving his sentence.
But when passing sentence inside a jam parked court on Thursday morning, Senior Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa quashed the mitigation factors.
He therefore sentenced Lufeyo Mphimbi and Samalani Jabu to 24 months Imprisonment with Hard Labour for the first count of removal of body parts while the second count of supplying body parts attracted 5 years each.
On the other hand, Sabita Mwale and her fiancee Eric Mwandira were slapped with a 6 years sentence each for selling body tissues.
According to Resident Magistrate Chirwa, the sentence for all the accussed will run concurrently and the accussed have been given a chance to appeal at the High Court if they are unsatisfied with the judgement.
According to the magistrate, the count of removing human body tissues carries a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment or a fine of K5 000 while the other two counts carry a maximum of 10 years imprisonment or a fine of K15 000.—(Additional reporting by Elijah Phimbi, Nyasa Times)Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :