Five men have been sentenced to 36 months in prison for looting during last year's Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) organised demonstrations in Lilongwe.
A court in Lilongwe on Friday sentenced Donald, 52, Henry Kazembe, 24, John Banda, 27, Hopeson Kankhulungo, 21, and Justin Kamuloni, 24.
Through police Prosecutor Sub Inspector John Kamphani, the court learnt that the convicts joined a group of HRDC demonstrators on October 1 2019.
When they got to Bwandiro, the five left the group and hit some shops and a salon at Area 15, the court learnt.
They went away with salon accessories, a genset, chairs, among other items, worth K23 million.
Police netted the five with their loot on them, and charged them with breaking into a building and committing a felony therein.
They denied the charge before court, forcing the state to parade 6 witnesses.
They were found guilty as charged.
The State prayed to the court to mete out harsh sentences to the five accused arguing some of the items were not recovered; hence a loss of business to the owners.
Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Diana Mangwana agreed with the state, observing that looters dent the noble cause of demonstrations and negatively affect social and economic development of the country.
Mangwana went on to convict and sentence the five each to 35 months imprisonment with hard labour as a lesson to others.
The convicts come from Msundwe and M'bwatalika areas under Traditional Authority Njewa in Lilongwe.