The Senior Resident Magistrate’s court in Blanytre has sentenced a cross-border transporter, 32-year-old Rashid Mwachande, to 2 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for stealing items worth K1.3 million belonging to a Malawian working in South Africa in 2017.
According to Sub Inspector Widson Nhlane, Media and Public Relations Officer for Ndirande Police Station, the court heard through Assistant Superintendent Lyson Chavinda, who happens to be Station’s Prosecution Officer at Ndirande Police that on September 16, 2017, Rashid Mwachande claiming to be a transporter, collected items from a Malawian working in South Africa then, to deliver in Ndirande township at a fee.
On trust, he was sent; hometheatres, fridges and some electronics amounting to K1,300,000 (one million, three hundred thousand kwacha).
According to Lyson Chavinda, the convict did not deliver the items. Instead, he just sold all right here in Malawi. Since then he could not be reached and traced.
The matter was later reported at Ndirande Police Station, and detectives had to conduct thorough investigations, and then received a report in 2020 that he was hiding at his home village in Mangochi.
The officers went to the area where Rashid was found and arrested. He was charged with theft an offence that contravenes Section 278 of the penal code.
Appearing before presiding Magistrate Elijah Daniels, he denied the charge levelled against him, prompting state prosecutor Lyson Chavinda to parade four witnesses who testified against him, proving him guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Following his conviction, he asked for leniency but prosecutor quashed that, saying the properties were not recovered, and that the victim suffered a big loss and the convict deserves harsh custodial sentence to deter others.He was then ordered to spend the next 2 years in prison.
The convict comes from Chapola village in Traditional Authority Chimwala, in Mangochi district.