Mzuzu First Grade Magistrates Court has sentenced a 23 year-old Henry Wankhama to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for breaking into a house and stealing various assorted goods worth K60,000.

Information reaching Faceofmalawi indicates that the suspect on the night of 14 March broke into the house of Matson Zimba 46, of Vwawi Village, Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba and stole eight chickens, mattress, radio and torch all valued at K60,000.

When the matter was reported to police, investigations led to the arrest of the suspect who was caught selling the chickens at Enukweni Trading Centre about 25 kilometers away.

Wankhama pleaded not guilty on both counts of burglary and theft contrary to section 309 and 278 (respectively) of the Penal Code, prompting the state to parade three witnesses who testified against him.

State witness, Sergeant Andrew Singini, pleaded with the court to inflict a stiffer sentence on the accused to further  offenders from committing similar offences and also reform him upon the completion of the sentence.

In mitigation, the accused pleaded with the Magistrate for leniency, claiming he was the sole provider of his entire family and that his wife required periodic medical attention for which he was responsible.

In passing judgement Magistrate Anthony Banda dismissed the mitigating factors and concurred with the state witness that the accused was a threat to the society.

He said it was the duty of the court to protect such people from mob justice by giving them a long jail term, hence the 10 year jail term.

Henry Wankhama hails from Kamchacha Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba District.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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