Malawi army soldier denied bail in robbery case

Lilongwe Magistrate court denied granting bail to a Malawi Defense Force soldier suspected of committing robbery at Kawale in Lilongwe.

Soldier held for robbery

The soldier is Blessings Banda, 32 of Mwangala village, Tradition Authority Msakambewa in Dowa District.

It is said that on July 29, 2017, Banda with his three accomplices robbed a car, cell phone and money all worthy of K 1,817,000 of Clement Matenje contrary to section 301 of penal code.

The case was subsequently referred to Lilongwe magistrate’s court on September 4, 2017 where the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.

However, the state witnesses were not available during the court hearing.

State prosecutor assistant superintendent Steven Majoni of Kawale police station told court that Banda with his three accomplices frightened the owner of the mention items and robbed the items and run away.

The suspect and the other three were caught and arrested the following day by Kawale police and they were kept at Kawale police station.

“The suspect robbed with his friends by force and escaped and we did our job of searching and we caught them” Majoni said.

He continued that Banda was kept at Kawale police station where he was taken by Malawi Defense Force, and he was kept in MDF guard cell at Kamuzu Barracks where he escaped in the hands of guard commander.

According to the state prosecutor, the suspect escaped from Kamuzu Barracks guard cell to Zomba, Mzimba where he was hidding and on his return to Lilongwe he was finally caught by police.

Majoni said that the report from Malawi Defense Force stated that the suspect escaped in the hands of guard commander.

Lawyer representing the suspect, Innocent Kubwalo told the court that the statement from police was exaggerated and the suspect should be given a bail so that he should start reporting his normal duties as MDF soldier.

“It is not true that the person was at large, therefore, he should be given a bail and start his work at Kamuzu Barracks,” he suggested.

State prosecutor said that, asked the court not to give a bail to the suspect saying that he is not trust worthy and he can run away again.

“We do not trust the suspect and he can escape if he is given a bail hence he should not be given a bail,” Majoni added.

Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate, Shyreen Yona said the case is serious one hence the suspect would still remain in police custody.

“Robbery is serious case of which a person is supposed to save the whole life in prison if found guilty,” she explained.

Yona said that the suspect could escape if he is given a bail with the confident that he escaped from Kamuzu Barracks guard cell where there was maximum security.

“I would not give a bail to the suspect because he is not trust worthy as he managed to escape in the hands of guard commander” she viewed.

The Lilongwe Magistrate adjourned the case to September 14, 2017 in order to pave a way for the state to parade their witness.

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