The Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court sitting at Mulunguzi has sentenced a 25-year-old to 14 years in prison for breaking into a lodge and stealing cash and items.
Zomba Deputy Public Relations Officer Sergeant Patrick Maseko has identified the convict as Samuel Somanje.
According to Maseko, the court, through state prosecutor Sub Inspector Peter Sosola based at Zomba Police Station heard that Somanje and his accomplices, on the night of February 25 2019, broke into six rooms at River Walk Lodge within Zomba City and went away with K1.6 million cash.
Sosola further told the court that apart from the cash, the convict, who was with his four friends who are already serving their 14-year jail term for the same offence, also stole laptops, cell phones and cameras from six different people who were lodging at the place.
He said Somanje and his gang were armed with offensive weapons and breaking implements which they used to break into the rooms
Somanje was arrested alongside his friends on March 16 2020 at Green Archers Lodge where they had gone for a similar mission.
They were charged with the offence of armed robbery which is contrary to section 301 as read with section 300 of the Penal Code
Appearing before court, Somanje pleaded not guilty but the court found him guilty after the state paraded two witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
In his submission, state prosecutor Sosola asked the court to give the convict a stiff sentence, considering the seriousness of the offence.
He said the convict is a threat to the society and people are living in fear because of these people.
He therefore asked the court to give him a custodial sentence so that it should be a lesson to him and would be offenders.
In mitigation, the convict asked for leniency, saying he is a bread winner and that he was wounded at the time he was being arrested.
Passing sentence on Tuesday June 2 2020, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state that the convict is a threat to the society and sentenced him to 14 years in prison with hard labour.
Samuel Somanje hails from Mnani village, Traditional Authority Namabvi in Mangochi district.