Malawi court convicts Rwandan over  National ID registration

Nkhunga First Grade Magistrate (FGM) Court in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota has  convicted a Rwandese National alongside a Malawian citizen for forgery and furnishing false information to obtain a National Identity Card, contrary to Section 43 of the National Registration Act (NRA).

The court through State Prosecutor Superintendent Macllino Lungu heard that on July 18, this year (2017), Christopher Sinayobye from Rwanda connived with Kondwani Banda, to register as a Malawian citizen during the mass registration exercise in the country.

He said Banda forged the National Registration Form for the purpose of assisting Sinayobye to obtain a national identity card.

The prosecutor told the court that with the forged information documents, Sinayobye managed to register at Linga Extention Planning Area (EPA) Hall which is at the district council’s headquarters.

“Due to information furnished by Banda, the Rwandese National successfully registered as Elias Banda of Makuta 11 Village in Traditional Authority (T.A.) Malengachanzi in Nkhotakota. Later on the same day, well-wishers tipped police who arrested the two,” said the state witness.

The duo, who pleaded not guilty during the first day of their appearance in court, did not take much of the court’s time as they pleaded guilty to both counts during the second appearance.

In mitigation, both suspects indicated they were ignorant of the law on their charges, said were first offenders and that they had already served part of their sentences in prison before trial.

“I have overstayed in prison without trial due to recent industrial strike by the courts. I have been honest because I surrendered myself to police after hearing that I had an offence to answer. I have pleaded guilty. I also have a wife and five children I look after,” said the 40 year old Banda.

Presiding over the case, FGM Kingsley Buleya, then convicted and sentenced the two.

“The first accused (Sinayobye) should pay MK400, 000 on the first count [forgery] or in default spend two years in jail and also pay MK200, 000 or in default serve another two-year jail term on the second count.

“The court, therefore, sentences you to MK200, 000 for the first count or in default serve nine months in jail and MK100, 000 for furnishing force information or serve another nine months in prison,” ruled Buleya for Banda.

Meanwhile, Sinayobye has immediately paid the MK600, 000 combined fines for the two counts following the court directive. Banda, who hails from Makuta Village, T.A. Makuta in Nkhotakota, remained in the hands of police.

National Registration Act 2010 states that forgery or furnishing NRB with false information is an offence and upon conviction, the person shall be liable to a maximum fine of K1 million or in default serve a five year jail term.


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