Mussa in black hat and Munthali in red tie at court
Former Malawi Minister of Information Henry Mussa has been sentenced to five years in prison for receiving stolen property and three years imprisonment for conspiracy to steal donated computers and a genset worth K10 million.
High Court Judge Patrick Chirwa has sentenced Mussa today.
Chirwa has also sentenced former Director of Information Gideon Munthali to 3 years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit a felony and 6 years imprisonment for theft by public person. The sentences are to run concurrently from the day of conviction.
Mussa together with Munthali were arrested in 2020 on allegations of stealing a computer and a generator in 2019 which were meant for District Information Offices across the country.
The court previously heard that Munthali received the items as Director of Information and delivered only nine computers to the said offices and kept one at his house while one generator was delivered to Mussa at his Area 11 residence on 19 June, 2019.
In October last year, the two were convicted of the theft related charges.
In their submissions, lawyers for the two, Kalekeni Kaphale ad Powell Nkutabasa, asked the court to consider giving the convicts a non-custodial sentence, considering that they served the nation as public servants; refunded the money for the gadgets; and have been in custody for four months.
Lawyer for Mussa also mentioned his advanced age and ill-health as reasons for consideration.
However, the State argued that the offences were pre-meditated, and that there was proper planning and execution of the offence, as evidenced by WhatsApp messages.
Mussa served as minister in the Bingu wa Mutharika and Peter Mutharika administrations. He also served as a Member of Parliament for over 10 years.