A former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier aged 30 has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for breaking into semi-detached houses at Airwing in Lilongwe and stealing items valued at K1.6 million.
The convict identified as Precious Khonje together with nine accomplices broke into two houses at Airwing (Njewa) in June 2022.
Lilongwe Police Spokesperson Hastings Chigalu said Police Prosecutor sub-inspector Vincent Ntalawe told the court that Khonje and his accomplices tied a watchman who was guarding the two semi-detached houses.
According to Ntalawe, the watchman was resisting surrender and Khonje instructed his accomplices not to waste time but decisively deal with him by crushing the security guard’s private parts.
“This is despite the fact that Khonje is married to the watchman’s niece,” the police spokesperson said.
The criminals then stole two plasma TV screens, cellphones, cash and other items, all valued at K1.6 million.
Khonje was apprehended same night by members of the community policing forum who were doing patrols, whilst his accomplices managed to escape the scene with the stolen property.
In court, Khonje who is a resident of the same area pleaded not guilty to the two counts of robbery he was facing, a development that prompted the state to parade six witnesses to prove the cases.
In mitigation, Khonje prayed for leniency to the court when passing its sentence saying he learnt a bigger lesson during his remand time at Maula Prison that left him totally a transformed person.
In its submission, the State through Prosecutor Ntalawe, asked the court to slap the convict with stiffer sentence saying Khonje planned to commit the offences, and subjected a lot of victims to trauma.
Ntalawe, further said that for the fact that all stolen items and money were not recovered, it means that all the victims lost everything, whilst the convict benefited, hence prayer for no leniency.
Passing his sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Shukran Kumbani, concurred with the State that the offences Khonje committed are serious in nature.
He then proceeded to pronounce a 10-year imprisonment for each count, and sentences to run concurrently.
Precious Khonje hails from Namalita Village, Traditional Authority Mwambo in Zomba District.