Three notorious criminals will spend the next 34 years in prison after the Senior Resident Magistrate court in Zomba found them guilty of bank robbery.
The three convicts are Chande Saidi, 22, from Salima, Nix Frank Dauda, 27, from Mangochi and Robert Kadzuwa, 37, from Thyolo district.
Presenting the case before court on Thursday, State Prosecutor Louis Makiyi said the convicts robbed off Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM) branch in Lilongwe on April 13, 2016 cash amounting to K16.2 million.
Makiyi told the court that the three are habitual criminals and they are currently serving a 22 year jail term for similar offences.
“In 2016, the convicts were sentenced to 8 years and 10 years each for robberies at NBS bank Mangochi branch and Liwonde branch respectively.”
He added that the two were also sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for attempting to rob Malawi Savings bank Ntaja branch in Machinga district.
Makiyi pleaded to the court to hand the three a stiff custodial sentence considering the seriousness of the offence and that the convicts are not first offenders.
The three pleaded not guilty to the charge prompting the state to parade witnesses.
In mitigation, the convicts pleaded with the court to hand them a lean sentence arguing they are now changed people.
When passing his sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha concurred with the state on the need to impose a stiff custodial sentence as the convicts are a threat to the society.
“From the evidence tendered it clearly shows that the crime committed was organized, and a considerable amount of cash has not been recovered despite the Police recovering a minibus which was bought from the proceeds of the robbery,” he said.
Senior Resident Magistrate Chiotcha then sentenced the three men to 12 years in prison with hard labour and ruled that the sentence will begin after they have served their first sentences making the total of 34 years.