Police in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre have arrested three support staff of the Blantyre High Court for allegedly dismantling and stealing various accessories from computers that were mounted and being used by judges in court rooms.
The items, including CPUs, hardware mother boards, memory chips, heat sinks and hard drives, are suspected to have been stolen when the High court premises were sealed following the protracted industrial strike judicial support staff stage demanding salary increment.
The suspects, currently in police custody at Blantyre Police Station, have been identified as Elliot Mahewe, aged 52, from Chiwotcha village, Traditional Authority Mkalo in Chiradzulu district, 36 year-old Weston Muyiwa of Ndawona village in Traditional Authority Nsambwe in Thyolo district and Felistine Mzandiwandira from Gambatila village, Traditional Authority Chakhumbira in Ntcheu district.
Site visit, according to Blantyre Police Publicist Elizabeth Divala, showed that there was “no constructive breaking”.
“They are suspected to have used duplicate keys to have access to the court rooms where they stole CPUs, hard drives, memory chips, mother boards.
“They removed those items from 15 computers that were being used by Judges like Healy Potani, Sylvester Kalembera, Rowland Mvundala, among others,” said Divala.
She said they will answer “breaking into a building and committing felony therein” according to Section 311 of the Penal Code.
The suspects were also the custodians of the keys for the court rooms and other offices at the High Court Building.
“The two month long industrial strike led to the sealing of the offices, and suspects took advantage of the situation as most their fellow staffs resorted to staying put at their respective homes,” said Divala.