Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Thursday January 13, 2022 convicted and sentenced Batisha Kasimu, 34, and White Alick, 31, each to six (6) years imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking six young Malawian men into Mozambique contrary to Section 14(1) of the Trafficking in Persons Act.
The court heard from State Prosecutor, lnspector Amos Mwase that, on September 14, 2021, Mobile Border Police officers who were manning Kalanje crossing border point in Katuli were tipped by members of the community that the convicts were hidden at a place close to the border with some people whom they wanted to take into Mozambique.
The officers intercepted them coming in pairs and immediately all were stopped for questioning, according to Mangochi Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Sub Inspector Amina Tepani Daudi .
Prosecutor Mwase added that, after being quizzed, the six victims, aged between 19 and 28, revealed that they were being taken to Mozambique from Balaka to do some piecework in farms where they would be paid K100,000 per month.
Appearing in court, both accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and the state paraded five witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
In mitigation, the convicts asked for leniency saying that they are breadwinners to their families and did not achieve their mission but Prosecutor Mwase reminded the court the gravity of the offence committed hence prayed for stiffer sentence.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state.
He therefore sentenced each of them to 6 years imprisonment with hard labour to deter other would-be offenders.
Both convicts hail from Lichinga district in Mozambique, she told Nyasa Times.