A third year College of Medicine (COM) student told a court in Blantyre on Tuesday that he stole two computers to support his pregnant girlfriend who is also a student at the college.
The student, Mtendere Gwanda aged 23, was convicted of stealing two computers from the college library and he pleaded with the court to exercise leniency on him saying he committed he stole because he impregnated a fellow college student at the campus and wanted to support the pregnancy.
The Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate court later sentenced Gwanda to three years imprisonment with hard labor.
According to Blantyre Police spokesperson Augustus Nkhwazi, on May 31, 2019 Gwanda broke through the window into the Information Communication Technology (ICT) library within the College of Medicine campus where he stole two sets of HP computers and one Central Processing unit (CPU).
This was happening while students were preparing to go for holidays.
Management at the higher learning institution discovered that computers were missing in the ICT library after students had gone on holiday.
When they checked through their security cameras, it was revealed that Mtendere Gwanda was the one who broke into the office and stole the said items.
Authorities at the College did not inform him about this until when students were back from holidays.
He was then invited and asked about the breaking.
After being shown what was seen on security cameras, he confessed to have been behind the heinous act.
The matter was reported to Blantyre Police on August 30, 2019.
Appearing before court, Gwanda pleaded guilty to the charges against him.
In his submissions, police prosecutor Sub-Inspector Justice Manolo prayed for the court to impose a stiffer punishment to the accused considering that Gwanda had stolen government property whose aim is to assist a lot of students’ access tertiary education.
Manolo said the act by the accused deprived many innocent students within the campus and those to come in future their opportunity to have access to the stolen computers as there was no recovery made.
Passing the sentence, First Grade Magistrate Tsoka Banda agreed with the state and slapped Gwanda with 3 years imprisonment with hard labour saying this should save as a warning to those intending to commit similar offences in future.
Mtendere Gwanda hails from Malonje village traditional authority Malemia in Zomba.