March 30, 2017 by Staff Reporter
Ntcheu First Grade Magistrates Court, Tuesday afternoon sentenced a police officer, Constable Raphael Banda, 36, and two civilians to 8 years imprisonment each for being involved in an attempt to break into a grocery shop at Mtonda Trading Centre in Ntcheu.
Prosecutor, Inspector Evance Kamtukure told the court that, on the night of March 7, 2017, Banda and his accomplices, Zakalia Wyson, 24, and Chipiliro Wandafo, 25, who were both in police uniform, went to the shop of Finias Duwe at Bwese Village in area of Traditional Authority Phambala with an intention to commit burglary.
“The owner of the shop heard a knock at the door of his shop and when he went to attend to the visitors, he found two men who were in police uniform and they introduced themselves as police officers who were sent to search for Indian hemp (Chamba) in the shop.
However, Duwe was surprised seeing the men armed with dangerous weapons such as an axe and a panga knife,” Kamtukure explained.
He further said community members arrested two suspects while one of them escaped but he was arrested a few days later by the law enforcers.
“These people have been destroying the reputation of police personnel in Ntcheu as well as in the country as a whole, therefore it is my pleasure to ask the court to punish stiffly to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders,” he added.
In mitigation the three suspects asked the court to be lenient with them when passing the sentence considering that they were first offenders and they care for their families including orphans.
Passing the sentence, First Grade Magistrate Chrispin Sachuluka, expressed worry over the increase of police officers who are involved in criminal cases in the country and described the development as a security threat to the country.
“The court has found all of you guilty for attempting burglary which is contrary to Section 402(2) of the Penal Code and I therefore sentence you to 96 months- imprisonment with hard labour,” said Sachuluka.
Constable Raphael Banda hails from Kalawe Village, Traditional Authority Sitola in Machinga District while Zakalia Wyson is from Ben-Chinsewu Village, Senior Chief Kwataine and Chipiliro Wandafo comes from Bwese Village Traditional Authority Phambala in Ntcheu district.-MANA