According to the Mangochi Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Sub Inspector Amina Tepani Daudi, State prosecutor Sub Inspector Maggie Chibulire told the court that the first convict is a biological mother of the second convict and that they are family friends with the third convict.
“The convicts who came to Mangochi from Blantyre on December 17, 2021 and lodged at one of the rest-houses in Mangochi, confessed to be habitual shoplifters.
“They targeted three Chipiku stores in the district and stole various groceries including cooking oils, motor vehicle oils, Kiwi shoe polish, Nido powder milk, lotions, washing and bathing soaps all items worth 1.5 million Kwacha,” said the PRO.
The prosecutor said the convicts used to hide the stolen items between their thighs and bras while dressed in oversized clothes.
They were arrested on December 21, 2021 at Koche roadblock after stealing from Maldeco Chipiku depot following a tip from members of the community. Some of the stolen items were recovered.
All convicts pleaded not guilty to the charge and the state paraded three witnesses who proved their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
In mitigation, the convicts who demonstrated how they used to break away without being caught asked for the court’s leniency, citing that their children would suffer if sent to prison, but prosecutor Chibulire said women are respected in the society and their behaviour is a disgrace to entire womanhood and cannot be tolerated hence prayed for a stiffer penalty.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state and slapped the first convict to 1-year while second and third convicts each to 2-years imprisonment with hard labour to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.
The first and second convicts hail from Kachikuni Village, Traditional Authority Nsamala in Balaka while Malora comes from Njema Village Traditional Authority Mabuka in Mulanje.