The First Grade Magistrate’s court sitting in Nkhata Bay District has sentenced Steven Kampango Chisale, 43, to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour for robbing Helemas Mkandawire of a motorbike at Chintheche.
The state prosecutor Sergeant Martha Chingwalungwalu told the court that the man committed the offence in the early hours of May 13, 2022 at Kawiya bridge.
According to the prosecutor, Chisale who had been a regular customer to Mkandawire who operates Kabaza motorbike, contacted the rider on May 12, 2022 requesting him for a lift to Kawiya Estate in the early hours of the following day (May 13, 2022).
Without breaching the agreement, the rider picked the customer to the requested destination. However, upon arrival at Kawiya bridge, Chisale produced a machete and hacked the rider on the right arm and shoulder until the bike went off the road and eventually fell.
The suspect grabbed the bike and went away with it. He didn’t go far before villagers stormed the place after hearing strange shouting. Chisale threw the bike into the bush and ran away.
Four days later, Chisale was arrested at Kachere trading centre following investigations that were launched by police. He was charged with robbery which is contrary to section 301 of the Penal Code.
During his first appearance in court, the suspect denied the charge prompting the state to parade two witnesses who testified against him.
The court found him guilty and eventually convicted him.
In submission during subsequent appearance in court on August 24, 2022, prosecutor Chingwalungwalu said Chisale had previous conviction on a similar offence as he stole a motorbike that earned him a 2 year jail term. Chingwalungwalu further said the convict organized to commit the crime by creating a cordial relationship with the rider with an ill motive behind. Further to that, the convict wounded the rider which is tantamount to killing. She therefore asked the court to consider these factors and slap him with a stiffer sentence.
In mitigation, the convict said his home district is Phalombe which is far from Nkhata Bay where he has no relatives who will be visiting him in prison.
Quashing the mitigating factors, First Grade Magistrate Ezekiel Kamtikana said the convict showed no remorse throughout the court sessions as he kept on denying the charge. Concurring with the state, Kamtikana ordered Mkandawire to spend the next 10 years of his life in prison to deter other would-be offenders.