MDF soldier denied bail for escaping from barracks

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A Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier was on Monday refused bail because he escaped from custody at Kamuzu Barracks.

The Lilongwe Magistrate court refused to grant bail to the soldier Blessings Banda, 32, who is accused of robbery.

State prosecutor assistant superintendent Steven Majoni of Kawale police station told court that Banda and three other thieves on July 29 stole a car, cell phone and money all worth K1,817,000 after threatening the owner.

The suspect and the other three were caught and arrested the following day by Kawale police and they were kept at Kawale police station.

Later, other MDF soldiers took Banda from the police cell to Kamuzu Barracks where they put him in MDF guard cell.

But Banda escaped in the hands of a guard commander and went to Mzimba. He later returned to Lilongwe and police rearrested him.

On Monday, Banda appeared before court and he pleaded not guilty to the charge of robbery contrary to section 301 of penal code.

Banda’s lawyer Innocent Kubwalo claimed that the police were lying about the suspect’s escape and asked for bail.

However, State prosecutor Majoni asked the court not to give bail to the suspect saying that he is not trustworthy and he can run away again.

“We do not trust the suspect and he can escape if he is given a bail hence he should not be given a bail,” Majoni said.

Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate, Shyreen Yona said the case is a serious one hence the suspect should still remain in police custody.

“Robbery is serious case of which a person is supposed to save the whole life in prison if found guilty,” she explained.

Yona said that the suspect could escape if he is given bail since he already escaped from Kamuzu Barracks guard cell where there was maximum security.

The Lilongwe Magistrate adjourned the case to September 14, 2017 in order to pave a way for the state to parade their witness.

Banda comes from Mwangala village, Traditional Authority Msakambewa in Dowa District.

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