Ugandan national gets nine years in jail over firearm

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The Mangochi Principal Resident Magistrate court sitting in Zomba yesterday sentenced a 44-year-old Ugandan national, Mwenyi Abdullah, to 9 years imprisonment for being found in possession of a firearm and for illegal entry into Malawi.

Assistant Public Relations Officer for Eastern Region of Police Sergeant Tionge Kayenda has confirmed the conviction of Mwenyi Abdullah.

Sergeant Kayenda told Malawi24 that the court heard from State Prosecutor Supretendant Josephine Chigawa that the suspect, now convict, was apprehended following a tip-off from workers of Sable Farming Estate after he was spotted loitering around the estate premises.

She said, following the report, police officers managed to get hold of the convict who failed to explain his presence in the area but later revealed that he was searching for prospective tailors as he intended to open a tailoring school within the area.

This prompted the police officers to conduct a search at his rented apartment at Kwisimba village in Mangochi district. During the search at his apartment, Abdullah produced a revolver but was swiftly overpowered by the officers.

Police found 2 other pistols, 63 live ammunition, military boots, and two ISIS Flags at the house.

Appearing before the court, Abdullah pleaded guilty to all the charges leveled against him.

In mitigation, Abdullah prayed for a lenient sentence stating his co-operation in the case and also his intention of teaching computers and tailoring.

In her submission, State Prosecutor Supretendant Chigawa who is also Regional Prosecution officer for Eastern Policing Region asked the court to give a stiff punishment, saying that the presence of the convict in Malawi posed a severe security risk as he was in possession of three fire arms.

Chigawa further told the court that the convict might be a member of a terrorist organization as he was found with some flags bearing Islamic state symbols which is considered as a terrorism grouping.

Passing the sentence, Principal Resident Magistrate court Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state and sentenced Mwenyi Abdullah to 9 years imprisonment with hard labour for being found in possession of a firearm and live ammunition.

Further, the court sentenced Abdullah to be deported to his nation at the end of his sentence.

Michongwe further directed that the three firearms and the ammunition should be given to the state.

Mwenyi Abdullah comes from Uganda in the Eastern part of Africa.

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