Man earns 6 years IHL for burglary, theft


The First Grade Magistrate Court in Chiradzulu has sentenced a 30-year-old man to six years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for breaking into a house and stealing items worth 2.5 million Malawi Kwacha.

Chiradzulu Police station public relations officer Constable Cosmas Kagulo has identified the suspect as Austin Thamangiwa who broke into a house belonging to Wilson Liphama in mid-August last year.

Kagulo said the court heard through state prosecutor from Chiradzulu Police Station inspector Spenard Chankoma that the incident occurred at Kwanjana Village In the district.

Chankoma narrated before the court that on the material day, Liphama left his house and went to attend a funeral ceremony at his home village and when he returned, he found out that his house had been broken into.

Upon entering the house, he found that different items had been stolen by unknown criminals.

In December 2023, Liphama met the convict putting on one of the stolen clothes and was then arrested.

Appearing before court, Thamangiwa pleaded not guilty and that prompted the state to parade three witnesses who testified beyond reasonable doubt.

In mitigation, Thamangiwa prayed for leniency saying he is a bread winner for his family.

However, Chankoma prayed for a stiffer punishment saying such offences are rampant in the district hence it was necessary to give a stiff sentence so as to deter other would-be offenders.

When passing his sentence, Magistrate Smart Maruwasa concurred with the state and slapped Thamangiwa with a six year jail term with hard labour.

In a related development, the same court has convicted and sentenced Chikumbuso Katembo to four years imprisonment with hard labour for similar offence. He stole items worth K699,000.00  from a house.

Katembo committed the offence on February 21, 2024 at around 2300 hours.

Thamangiwa hails from Kanje village Traditional Authority Likoswe while Katembo hails from Chikankheni village Traditional Authority Mpama, both from Chiradzulu district.