Dedza First Grade Magistrate’s Court has sentenced Steven Makwasa, 60, to 14 years imprisonment for hiring thugs who have been terrorising the community.
State prosecutor Tedson Namaona told the court that on March 12 this year, some people broke into a house and stole assorted items including a plasma television set and home theatre valued at K500 000.
He said one of the robbers, Samson James, 40, was arrested on the scene and he implicated Makwasa.
James claimed he and his colleagues who escaped were accommodated at Makwasa’s house since they were hired by him from Ntcheu. The convict is also reported to have directed the thugs to which houses to break into.
Makwasa and James were charged on three counts of theft, burglary and conspiracy to commit a felony.
Makwasa, who is also an assistant to village head Kapesi, pleaded not guilty to all the charges while James pleaded guilty to all of them.
The State paraded six witnesses who all testified against him.
In mitigation, Makwasa asked the court for leniency, saying he has two wives and that his children will suffer.
Magistrate Anthony Banda said the behaviour demonstrated by Makwasa was not befitting a senior citizen who is supposed to promote law and order in the community.
Makwasa comes from Kapalamula Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kachere in Dedza while James, 40, comes from Ndadzala Village, T/A. Kwataine in Ntcheu.