Court to sentence Facebook User Kamwanje Friday

The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrates Court Thursday adjourned the sentencing of Ignatius Kamwanje who was convicted on Tuesday over a social media platform Facebook post which alleged that money was being stolen from National Bank of Malawi (NBM) clients’ accounts.

Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa told the prosecution and defence sides that he will deliver his sentence on Friday morning as he has had to look at the charge of the offence of prohibition of spamming, as outlined in section 91 of the Electronic Transaction and Cyber Security Act of 2016.

Convicted Kamwanje leaving Lilongwe Magistrate Court back going back to Police cell: picture by Nyasa Times.

“The Magistrate invited us in his Chambers where he wanted some clarifications on the offence and the provisions of the Act and we addressed him and he will pass his sentence tomorrow at 9am,” said Police Prosecutor Patrick Chipote.

Kamwanje, was then taken to Lilongwe Police Station after his bail was revoked following his conviction on Tuesday.

Police arrested Kamwanje in April this year after NBM plc had filed a complaint following his spate of damaging posts, among them, that NBM plc employees were involved in an ‘inside cartel’ to steal money from customers.

He alleged that four employees had been arrested in connection with the theft.

However, when he was brought before the court, he pleaded guilty.

Chipote told the court that their investigations did not establish the arrest of any NBM plc employee over the alleged theft and that no customer had officially complained about losing money in their accounts.

Chipote said Kamwanje’s posts damaged the bank’s image and reputation and asked the court to impose a stiff punishment to deter others from such misconduct.

Kamwanje’s lawyer Pacharo Mwenelupembe prayed for leniency arguing that Kamwanje is the first offender.

She also told the court that Kamwanje will apologize on Facebook over the posts.

The convict first wrote the story on his Facebook wall on 1st March 2021 that his relative had his K8.7 million stolen at NBM plc with the help of the bank employees.

He wrote again on 27th March 2021 where he alleged that there were four cases at the courts and that others are in jail because of the issue.

“Those with National Bank accounts, check your balances regularly…ndalama zikutengedwa mma accounts. Yesterday about 4 cases at the court.

“Surprisingly it’s an inside cartel bcz others are in jail as I am talking. The relative whom I posted a story on my page and whose 2.8 million went missing with a balance of about 5.7 kulibe kalikonse…” reads part of his post.

According to the Electronic Transaction and Cyber Security Act, Kamwanje faces a K2 million fine and five-year prison sentence

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