Zomba Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court has convicted and sentenced a prison warder, a 35-year-old man, Steven Ching’anda to two years imprisonment With Hard Labour (IHL) for smuggling mobile phone SIM cards behind bars.
He was charged for the introduction of prohibited articles into the prison that’s contrary to Section 81 (a) of Prison Act, and abuse of office contrary to Section 95 (2) of the Penal Code.
Eastern Region police prosecutor, Sub Inspector Asma Katete told the court that Airtel Malawi was going through its records to trace numbers which were involved in the fraudulent Airtel Money transactions.
Following the exercise, the company discovered that there was one identity card which was used to register 60 SIM cards which were showing that they were being used inside Zomba Maximum Prison.
Katete further told the court that after thorough investigations, police found that Mphatso Milonde was the one sending the SIM cards to her husband Patrick Banda (prisoner) through the Prison warder, Ching’anda.
Ching’anda was then arrested and charged with two counts.
When he appeared before court, he pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him, prompting the state to parade Banda (the prisoner) and his wife, Mphatso as some of the state witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubts.
In his submission, Katete asked the court to have no mercy on him for he deliberately breached the trust of his employer and that those SIM cards he took into prison have done great damage to the community through defrauding people’s money through dubious means.
In mitigation, Ching’anda pleaded with the court for consideration, saying he is a first offender.
Passing judgement, presidin Magistrate Mzondi Mvula concurred with the state and sentenced Ching’anda to 3 months imprisonment with hard labour on first count of introduction of prohibited articles into the prison and 2 years for the second count of abuse of office.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Ching’anda hails from Mchezi Village, Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi district.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :