Two men aged 25 and 36 have been sentenced to 12 years in prison each for breaking into Chipiku Stores in Zomba and stealing items worth K8.6 million.
Senior Resident Magistrate Court sitting at Zomba handed the sentence on July 07, 2021 to Hassan John, 25, and Davie Chifundo Kazembe, 36.
The court heard, through Eastern Region police prosecutor, Sub Inspector Asma Katete, that during the night of 19-20 October, 2020, a gang of criminals who were armed with panga knives attacked guards at Zomba Chipiku stores and broke into the shop and store assorted groceries worthy MK8, 624, 995.26.
After the incident, the matter was reported to police where a team of investigators conducted thorough investigations which led to the recovery of some of the items. One suspect was also arrested and the suspect helped the investigators to track and arrest other 7 Chipiku robbers who robbed at Chikwawa as well as Zomba.
When asked before court, John and Kazembe pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery while the other 6 robbers pleaded not guilty a thing which forced the magistrate to only sentence the two and put the other 6 suspects on remand for the state to bring witnesses to testify against them.
In his submission, Katete asked the court for stiffer punishment saying cases to do with break-ins at Chipiku stores are on increase and not only in Zomba but the whole nation.
In mitigation, they both pleaded with the court for consideration for they are breadwinners to their families.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Lissa Chingoli concurred with the state that, the two deserve a stiffer punishment to deter the other would be offenders, she then sentenced John and Kazembe to 12 years imprisonment with hard labour.
John hails from Chizunthu Village, Traditional Authority Mlumbe in Zomba district while Kazembe hails from Nakapa village, Traditional Authority Bwananyambi in Mangochi district.