The Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has found businessperson Mathias Bonongwe guilty of receiving 600 bags of fertilizer worth K22 million.
Public Relations Officer for South West Region of Police Inspector Joseph Sauka has confirmed to Malawi24 about the conviction of businessman Matias Bonongwe.
Inspector Sauka has told Malawi24 that the court heard through State Prosecutors Senior Counsel Kalekeni Kaphale and Sub Inspector Gladys Phiri of Limbe Police Station that, on or before September 1, 2021, Mathias Bonongwe received 600 bags of fertilizer from Menard Natulu which was unlawfully obtained.
They further informed the court that Natulu, who is a truck driver, was sent to Mozambique by his employer ‘Famers World’ to collect 600 bags of fertilizer.
However, instead of delivering the goods to his employer, Natulu conspired with Bonongwe who bought all the 600 bags before he dumped the truck at Maoni site in Blantyre and went into hiding. The value for the 600 bags stolen was pegged at K22, 800,000.00
Following intense investigations, Natulu was arrested at Liwonde in Machinga district and upon being interviewed, he confessed to having connived with Bonongwe who was later arrested in Lilongwe.
Appearing before court, both Bonongwe and Natulu pleaded not guilty to the charge of receiving property unlawfully obtained and theft respectively. The state paraded eight witnesses leading to the conviction of the two.
Passing judgement on Thursday November 2, 2023, Senior Resident Magistrate Akya Mwanyongo said the evidence presented by the state had outweighed the defence and went on to convict Bonongwe and his accomplice Menard Natulu before revoking their bail.
The case has since been adjourned to November 16, 2023 where the convicts through their lawyers will present to the court their mitigating factors before sentence.
Bonongwe comes from Kalemeka village, Traditional Authority Chilowamatambe in Kasungu district but resides in Lilongwe while Menard Natulu 29, hails from Liwewe village, Traditional Authority Chimutu in Lilongwe district.