Lilongwe Magistrate Courts on Tuesday sentenced three of the six suspects in the infamous “ESCOM 2” syndicate, to altering numbers of year’s imprisonment after being found guilty of several counts in violation of different sections of the Electricity Act.
Sources reaching FaceofMalawi indicate that a Mike Nyirongo, who was the ring leader has been given six years IHL, while his accomplices Macdonald Chilipo and Phillip Sekani were each given 4 years behind bars.
Reports further show that the court has reserved a ruling on three of the suspects because they are still at large after jumping bail.
The suspects were involved in illegally construction electricity distribution lines and thereby supplying unsuspecting people with electricity illegally while duping them in the process.
Passing judgment, Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Chiwotcha observed that Illegal connection is a serious offense because it endangers the lives and property of the general public. It also deprives ESCOM the much needed financial resources besides making the public lose money to the unscrupulous people.
The Magistrate said he was aware that the culprits were responsible family members but he had no option but to give them a stiff custodial sentence without an option of a fine so as to make other would be offenders think twice before committing the crime.
Meanwhile ESCOM says it is happy with the outcome because it was a warning shot that tampering with the infrastructure is an offence.
“We are imploring members of the general public to keep on reporting all cases of illegal connection and vandalism,” he said.