Suspects accused of robbing Centre for Youth and Development (CYD) of 43 laptops worth K6 million have accused Mzuzu Police of failing to declare in court K1,030,000 they allegedly seized from them during their arrest.
Two of the five suspects, Leonard Kalonga and Lunya Matebule raised the issue Wednesday when they were cross examining Mzuzu Police Head of Criminal Investigations, Assistant Superintendent Mthinda, who earlier testified against them.
Second accused Kalonga asked Mthinda why police did not bring money totaling to K380, 000 which Mthinda himself took from him (Kalonga) just after he was arrested.
“I want to know from you, sir, why you have not brought the money (K380, 000) to the court, since this is what you told me when you were arresting me?” asked Kalonga.
In response, the police investigator denied taking any money from the suspect saying he did not have any money in his pockets on the day he was arrested in Chiputula Township in the city.
Later, third accused Lunya Matebule surprised the court when he also asked Mthinda where his money amounting to K650, 000 was, since it was not tendered in court as part of the items that were confiscated from him when he was being arrested on 14 December last year.
“I want to know from you bwana Mthinda. Where is my money which was K600, 000 in one pocket and K50000 in the other pocket? I also remember very well that you also took my Opportunity Bank card, identity card and phone. Where are the items, sir?” queried Matebule.
Mthinda again denied taking the said amount from Matebule.
“Your Worship, I need to be truthful here that I never took any money from these claimants and you might agree with me that if these (accused) were really honest, they would have notified other authorities at the police to follow up the matter rather than raising the issues now.
“However, I agree taking the phone from the third accused (Matebule), as it is his phone which we were using to track down other suspects till we arrested them all,” he told the court.
In his earlier testimony, Mthinda told the court that he knew some of the five suspects in the case because he had arrested them before on separate theft and robbery cases while working in Blantyre.
The last witness in the case, Police Detective Sergeant Mwadiya read out written caution statements from all the five accused, namely, Christopher Adam, Charles Mwale, Kalonga, Matebule and Gerald Banda.
Kalonga, Matebule and Mwale accepted taking part in the robbery while Adam and Banda denied taking any part.
Among the contents in the three caution statements, they claimed that they had a stopover at Jenda Trading Centre where they tied watchmen at one of the shops there, broke into and stole one laptop.
From there, they travelled to Mzuzu where they again broke into CYD premises and stole the 43 laptops.
Meanwhile, First Grade Magistrate Alexander Gomba denied bail to the suspects and adjourned the case to Friday, 23 February for his ruling.
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