By Grecium Gama
Phalombe second Grade magistrate on Monday sentenced Omali Maiten, 30 to five Years imprisonment with hard labour for stealing drugs and other assorted items.
This happened barely weeks after President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika warned all health facility workers to desist from stealing and selling drugs from public health facilities.
The court heard that Maiteni was cornered on 19 April this year by the police upon receiving a tip from the well wishers that the convict was about to board the minibus to Chitakale in Mulanje and Police arrested him. Appearing before the court, Maiteni was found guilty and convicted on his own plea of guilty to the charges of the theft from public office contrary to section 282 (f) of the penal code.
In Mitigation, Maiteni asked for a lenient sentence considering that he has the responsibility of taking care his poor relatives and that he has wife and kids who need his care.
Passing the sentence the Second grade magistrate Lawrence Mangani said people like Maiteni requires stiff punishment since this malpractice contributing to the problem of lack of drugs in a number of public hospitals in the country. “Such cases are now rampant in this country.
There is the public outcry that there are no drugs in hospitals because of people like the accused who have no mercy at all. People are dying therefore people like these ones deserve no mercy,” said Mangani.
Then Mangani sentenced Maiteni to 60 months (5 years) imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) to deter other offenders and protect poor Malawians who are suffering due to lack of drugs in the hospitals.
The convict hails from Lomo Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mabuka in Mulanje district