The Blantyre Magistrates Court has convicted and sentenced Benjamin Chamba who was arrested over mutilation of national identity cards to pay a fine of K120 000 or in default to six months imprisonment with hard labour.
The accused a resident of Chilobwe in Blantyre, in mid March 2018 met some unsuspecting job seekers and promised them he had job offers for them.
He gave them a condition that he would only offer the job to only those who are citizens of Malawi.
Chamba sked at least eight people to bring their national identity cards before they could be considered for the job.
However, as the job offer which the suspect did not disclose was taking long, the owners of the National Identity Cards became suspicious of the whole process and demanded to be given back their IDs.
One of the victims Miss Catherine Makweka 33 of Gulumba village traditional authority (TA) Chikumbu in Mulanje who also stays in Chilobwe township observed that the gold chip on her national identity card had been tampered with. This was the same with seven (7) other identity cards belonging to different individuals.
Miss Catherine Makweka reported the matter to Chilobwe Police Unit.
Police arrested Chamba on Monday April 2 2018 and had been granted a court bail on April 6.
Appearing before her worship Dianna Mangwana the First Grade Magistrate at Blantyre Magistrates Court, Chamba who had earlier pleaded not guilty to a charge of Mutilating National Identity Cards contravening section 42 (c) (d) of the National Registration Act of 2010, reversed the decision and pleaded guilty.
The court then found him guilty upon his own plea of guilty and convicted him forthwith.
In her submissions, Police prosecutor Sub – Inspector Monica Motchamanja Saiti of Chilobwe Police Unit asked the court to impose a deterrent sentence to the accused saying his conduct was criminal in nature.
In mitigation, the accused pleaded with the court to exercise leniency when passing the sentence saying it was not his intention to destroy/mutilate the national identity cards.
Passing the sentence, First Grade Magistrate Dianna Mangwana said the court considered that the accused was a first offender and that he pleaded guilty to the charge.
Her worship Mangwana then sentenced the accused pay one hundred and twenty thousand kwacha(K120,000.00) fine in default six months imprisonment with hard labour.
The accused paid the fine.
Benjamin Chamba 30 hails from Kadulanya village T.A Kamenyagwaza in Dedza.
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