FCC stolen equipment: Main suspect jailed, Jai testifies

Dalton Limbe Magistrates Court last week convicted and sentenced to 36 months (3 years) William Maulana who was main suspect in the French Culture Centre (FCC) stolen equipment saga.

Lawyer, Jai Banda who was last year, formally charged by Police in connection to the stolen equipment testified against Maulana as State witness, court documents show.

Banda, long time music promoter, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property after the law enforcers confiscated from him sound craft mixer and power supply cables.

Magistrate Kingsley Mulungu slapped Maulana 27 years old with 36 months Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) after police evidence and testimony from Banda implicated him.

Jai Banda: Testified
Jai Banda: Testified

Maulana 27 hails from Mangile village, T/A Chilikumwendo, Dedza was charged with breaking into a building and committing a felony therein.

He is said to be the one who broke into French Culture Centre and stole the music equipment before selling it to various people including Jai Banda.

Jai Banda, according to the documents, told the Police he bought the stolen sound craft mixer and power supply cables from Maulana at a total cost of K200, 000. The mixer value is pegged at K5 million.

Apart from arresting Maulana and confiscating some of stolen equipment from Banda, the Police also recovered Yamaha drum set, a microphone and bongos from 48 year-old Pastor, Kenneth Dickson of Hope for all Nations church in Ndirande who bought the items at a total cost of K100, 000.

Other people implicated in the stolen equipment include Pastor, Timothy Khoviwa of Word of Faith Temple International and musician and Member of Parliament, Joseph Tembo who said to have bought two guitars.

Government bought closed French Culture Centre at K300 million from French Embassy. Days after the closure of the centre in 2011, thugs ransacked the premise stealing various property including music equipment worth K20 million.

The Police commenced investigations into the stolen equipment after Nyasa Times broke the story that revealed names of people implicated in the stolen equipment, which included lawyer, Jai Banda.

Meanwhile, Government has unofficially opened the closed French Culture Centre (FCC) for public use and has since named it Blantyre Culture Centre (BCC).

The once Blantyre entertainment Mecca was opened in November 1973 to promote arts and culture with support from French Embassy.

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