The Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Thursday sentenced Yohane Phiri, 25, Luke Nicholas, 28, and Yahaya Mkwanda, 35 to eight years imprisonment with hard labor for robbery.
Public Relations Officer for Police in Eastern Region Inspector Joseph Sauka has confirmed the conviction of the three men.
Inspector Sauka said that the court heard from State Prosecutor Sub Inspector Luke Lazaro of Eastern Region Police Headquarters that, the trio, on the night of March 5 to 6, 2022 at Fairways Filling Station in Zomba City robbed Mr. Evance Stafford Mangasanji of one cellphone and K21,000.00 cash.
He said that Lazaro further informed the court that, the convicts, who were four in number, armed with a rifle and panga knives, invaded Fairway Filling Station and tied three guards with intent to break into the shop. After failing to break into the shop, they robbed a cellphone and K21,000.00 cash from one of the guards, Mr. Mangasanji.
They fled the scene after a dog handler who was undercover released his dog, according to Lazaro.
Appearing before the court, the three pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery which is contrary to section 301 (2) of the Penal Code.
In mitigation, the three asked for forgiveness saying that they are breadwinners of their families.
In his submission, prosecutor Lazalo asked the court to impose a stiff sentence saying that robbery cases are rampant in the area and that the convicts were armed with offensive weapons.
He said the business community and residents of Zomba City were living in fear because of people like these, hence the need to give them stiffer sentences so that it should be a lesson to would-be offenders.
Passing the sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Christopher Makumba concurred with the state and sentenced the three to eight years imprisonment with hard labor.
Phiri comes from Utale 1 Village, Traditional Authority Nsamala in Balaka district and Nicholas comes from Nkawa Village, Traditional Authority Mlumbe in Zomba district while Mkwanda hails from Lipongo Village, Traditional Authority Nkula in Machinga district, but they were all residing in Zomba district.
Phiri is also awaiting a sentence for stealing a rifle and cellphones at Zomba Police Station in February 2022.