Malawi court slaps three men with 2-year-jail term on conspiracy charges

The Balaka Second Grade Magistrate’s court has sentenced three people to 2 years imprisonment with hard labour for planning to rob cotton buyers.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Hunter Masmba told the court that the suspects Andrea Amin 56, Christopher Tung’ande 24 and Goshen Banda 23, were on 22nd  May, 2013 at Utale in Balaka district discussing on how they could rob cotton buyers at a drinking joint which contrary to section 404 of the Penal code

Masamba said well wishers who were hearing them discussing this tipped the Police who rushed to the scene where they arrested them and managed to recover a grinner riffle which was hidden in a bag with seven rounds of live ammunition.

The suspects were then charged with two cases of being found in possession of a firearm without permit contrary to section 12 sub-sections 2 of firearms act and Conspiracy to commit a felony which is contrary to section 404 of the Penal code. justice

The suspects pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and being found in possession of firearm without licence.

In mitigation, the suspects asked the court to consider them a non custodial sentence considering that they are all first offenders and that no one was robbed.

They also said they have families to look after but the state through Prosecutor Sergeant Masamba quashed their mitigating factors saying the intention to commit the crime alone is an offence and being found with a firearm is another serious offence.

“If these people were not arrested at first place they could have caused a lot of havoc in the district hence the need to give them a stiffer sentence which will also be a reward to those who tipped the Police,” Masamba said.

Passing judgement, Second Grade Magistrate Maxwell Boaz concurred with the Police saying the suspects deserve a stiffer sentence despite being first offenders so that it should be a lesson to them and would be offenders.

The court has also ordered Andrea Amin to pay a fine of K25, 000.00 and in default serve 12 months imprisonment with hard labour for being found in possession of a firearm without licence; and the sentences to run consecutively.

Andrea Amin comes from Kadzuwa village, Traditional Authority Bvumbwe in Thyolo district while Christopher Tung’ande comes from Zalimu village, Traditional Authority Nkaya in Balaka and Goshen Banda comes from Masache village, Traditional Authority Kasakula in Ntchisi district.

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