Blantyre: 22 years in prison for robbing Assembles Of God church

Three people who were arrested by Blantyre Police following a robbery at Chirimba Assemblies of God Church in Blantyre on February 16, 2019 have been convicted and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour on top of another 8 years imprisonment with hard labour imposed by a court in Chileka.

The three were among four suspects who were answering charges of robbery and had pleaded guilty save for one.

Anafi Jango Kawisa 32, Leo Mwenda 23 and John Foster 19 pleaded guilty while Patrick Tauzi 30 pleaded not guilty.

In his submissions before the court after a successful trial, head of prosecutions at Blantyre Police Senior Superintendent Bright Sanudi
brought to the attention of the court that the three who pleaded guilty to the charge had already been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment with hard labour by Chileka court on another roberry with violence case at Jordan Lodge within Blantyre city earlier this year.

Senior Superintendent Sanudi pleaded with the court not to lose sight because the three are dangerous to society.

He further requested the court not to give a concurrent sentence with that imposed by the Chileka court.

Bright Sanudi said where robbery has been committed by two or more people it becomes an aggravated robbery hence need for stiffer punishment.

He pleaded with the court in its sentence to ensure that People should be free to attend to their prayers at night without fear of being attacked.

The court agreed with the submissions by the state.

In his sentence First Grade Magistrate Tsoka Banda said starting punishment for robbery is 10 years which is subject to be lessened or added to.

Tsoka Banda said taking into consideration that the accused persons attacked church members, the court was of the view that it should add the sentence. He said this was to ensure that the accused are put far from the people who are in fear of attending prayers during the night.

He then sentenced the three to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour saying the sentence should start after the 8 years which the Chileka court imposed.

In total the accused persons will stay in jail for 22 years.

Patrick Tauzi’s case who pleaded not guilty will come back in court on May 9, 2019.

During the robbery several items were robbed including over 26 cell phones, laptop computer, projector, pieces of cloth (zitenje) and undisclosed cash.

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