The First Grade Magistrate’s Court in Nkhata Bay has ordered a 33 year old Kondwani Makwakwa to serve 42 months jail term for stealing money and two cell-phones from a female passenger in the district. The court through state prosecutor Inspector Oscar Mulungu, heard that on April 23, 2021, the victim Towera Mwenda, a teacher at St. Augustine Secondary School went to NBS Bank in the district where she withdrew money amounting to K60,000. Immediately after she came out from the bank, three men approached her posing as taxi operators. They asked her if she was going to Mzuzu where she really was going, and boarded the taxi together with the men.
The court further heard that as the taxi reached at Pastrol Centre area the driver changed the idea of going to Mzuzu. He then stopped and ordered the woman to board another taxi while the doors of the vehicle were locked, which is believed to have been a deliberate move. As the woman was trying to unlock the door, the suspect who was on the same seat with her, had a chance to have access to steal the items in question. The woman, immediately after boarding another vehicle, realised the missing of her K60,000 and two cell phones worthy K260,000. She then concluded that the culprit could be one of the people whom she was with in the previous vehicle. Upon the realization she rushed and reported the matter to Nkhata Bay Police Station where investigations were launched that led to the arrest of the accused who happened to be the master-minder of the whole exercise.
Despite denying the charge in court on September 16, 2021, state witnesses proved the matter beyond reasonable doubt. In submission, the state prosecutor Mulungu prayed for stiffer punishment arguing that stealing from passengers through door locking system is increasingly becoming order of the day.
In mitigation, the convict prayed for lenient punishment, saying that he looks after his family. However, magistrate George Longwe concurred with the state and sentenced the convict to 42 months imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date he was arrested.
Makwakwa hails from Chilatani Village, Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba District.
Sergeant Kondwani James
Nkhata Bay Police PRO