Malawi court sends Zambian to prison for 21 years over human trafficking

Mchinji Second Grade Magistrate on Thursday sentenced a Zambian national, Gift Zulu 26, to 21 years imprisonment with hard labor for human trafficking.

The sentence comes barely two weeks after a certain man was sentenced to 116 years IHL for similar charges of transferring eleven people from villages under traditional authorities Mazengera and Kalumbu in Lilongwe to Mozambique to work in tobacco farms.

The convict was answering three counts of trafficking, contrary to section 14(1) of the Trafficking in Persons Act.

During the court hearing, the State through Constable Bertha Ngoma told the court that on October 14, 2017, Mchinji Police Station received a tip from members of the community that the convict was fraudulently transferring three people of the ages between 19 and 28 from Mbeza village in Traditional Authority Mlonyeni to Zambia for casual labour in maize farms.

“In light of this, the police acted swiftly  mounting a road block at Kondowole village, along  Mchinji- Mwami border road which led to  the arrest of the convict  who  boarded a taxi together with the victims  on their  way to Zambia  and  the  trafficked persons  were  rescued forthwith,” said Ngoma.

The convict pleaded guilty to the charges and asked for leniency considering that he was not aware that he was committing an offence and that it was his first time to be in conflict with the law.

When passing judgment, Second Grade Magistrate, His Worship Gavanala Chiipanthenga stated that the offence committed by the convict attracts a custodial sentence.

As such, he quashed the mitigating factors presented by the convict before slapping him with 7 years IHL on each count.

The sentences are to run concurrently.

The convict, Gift Zulu hails from Sandwe village in the area of Chief Sandwe in Petauke – Zambia.

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