Malawi Policeman gets 10 years prison sentence for Mzuzu robbery

The Mzuzu Magistrate Court has slapped a Police Officer from Mzuzu Police Station a total of 16 years imprisonment with hard labor for robbing a Congolese national MK100,000 cash and assaulting her in the process at Lusangazi Roadblock.

Mzuzu Police Station Public Relations Officer Sergeant Maurice Chapola in an interview on Thursday disassociated the convict 31-year-old Sergeant Friday Kalonjere from the regular members of the Malawi Police Service saying he committed the offence as an individual and not as Malawi Police officer.

“This should stand as a signal to all Police officers that they will not be spared if they commit offences. That is why when allegations of robbery and assault were brought against Kalonjere we went ahead to arrest him so that he faces the law like everybody else,” Chapola said.

The convict, Kalonjere got 10 years for the first count of robbery with violence contrary to section 301 of the Penal Code and 6 years for Indecent Assault contrary to section 137 of the Penal Code.

Chapola: He committed the sin in hiw own individual status not as a policeman
Chapola: He committed the sin in hiw own individual status not as a policeman

Both sentences will run concurrently, which means Kalonjere will serve the longest, 10 years.

First Grade Magistrate Anthony Banda said despite the fact that Kalonjere was a first offender, the court could not exercise leniency saying as a Cop the convict had disregarded his noble duty of protecting life and property by committing crime.

Banda said the fact that the MK100,000 was not recovered as a disadvantage to the convict’s mitigation for leniency.

“It is the duty of Courts not to back or encourage Police Officers to commit such offences. The sentences should also serve to protect the reputation of the Malawi Police Service, which in the Court’s view works professionally despite a few individuals within its ranks who dents its image,” Banda said.

The court heard that a minibus driver coming from Mzimba direction to Mzuzu picked Dorothy Matabishi along the way.

According to the State, Matabishi was coming from a traditional healer where she had left her sick child and was heading to Mzuzu to buy some provisions.

“But when the minibus approached the roadblock, the driver alighted and approached Kalonjere telling that he had picked a foreigner. Kalonjere then called the woman behind the roadblock office, where he searched her handbag.

“He found nothing. But proceeded to frisk her and found MK100,000 tied to her waist. In the struggle to untie the money he injured Matabishi on the waist with keys and took the money,” the court heard.

In mitigation, Kalonjere asked the court for leniency saying he had a wife, a child, looks after old parents and that he lives in a rented house.

Meanwhile, 30 days has expired in which the High Court in Mzuzu gave the defense team to monitor the progress of one of its client who is reportedly sick in Blantyre and was unable to attend the ongoing trial of three Mzuzu based police officers accused of having a hand in the death of Edison Msiska in Police custody more than a year ago.

Msiska, a former Natural Resources College student, died on January 29 2012, four days following his arrest after he was found with property suspected to have been stolen.

Police arrested six officers on April 18 2012 and charged them with murder following police investigations into Msiska’s death.

However, at the close of the prosecution case last year, the Court found the trio Constable George Kamphe, Constable Victor Msoloma and Constable Lucius Mpakeni with a case to answer on a charge of manslaughter and not murder as earlier charged.

In another development another Mzuzu, based Cop is on bail following assault and theft allegations brought by Mzuzu based businessperson Bright Mwaulwali, through lawyer George Kadzipatike of Jivason and Company.

Inspector Simwinga allegedly stole cash amounting to over MK150, 000.

Sources told Nyasa Times that Sub Inspector Simwinga grievously injured Mwaulwali following an altercation at a beer-drinking joint at Chibanja Township on December 31st, 2012.

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