Mulanje — A prison warder in Mulanje on Tuesday escaped a custodial sentence after the Third Grade Magistrate's Court convicted him and handed him a suspended sentence for the offence of theft.
Geoffrey Kumbukani Saiwa who worked at Mulanje prison was arrested last week and charged with the offence of theft of a water pump at the correctional institution.
Appearing before the presiding Third Grade Magistrate, Mifa Chimkudzu recently, the accused pleaded guilty and admitted to the charge of theft which is contrary to section 278 of the penal code.
Passing sentence, Chimkudzu said the action by the convict was contradictory to what security persons were supposed to promote.
"Although the accused pleaded guilty to the charge without wasting court's precious time, his conduct cannot be condoned. He, therefore, requires a maximum penalty, which in this case is five years imprisonment with hard labour," Chimkudzu said.
Chimkudzu, however, said the court had put into consideration that apart from pleading guilty the accused had also automatically lost his job.
She, therefore, convicted Saiwa and sentenced him to nine months imprisonment with hard labour but suspended to 12 months.
During the arrest of Saiwa police also recovered the pump donated to Mulanje prison by Saint Egidio of the Catholic Church valued at K1.5 million.
Saiwa, 32, comes from Balakasi Village in the area of Traditional Authority Chikowi in Zomba.