Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has sentenced Hastings Mwachibe to six years imprisonment afterfinding him guilty of stealing money meant for orphans.
State prosecutor Louis Makiyi told the court that the convict, 40, worked as a clerk in the deceased estate’s office at Balaka District Council between 2006 and 2013, when he stole K8 million deposited with his office for minor beneficiaries whose parents died.
He also told the court that the convict falsified the ledger book by covering up figures with pieces of paper and allowing false signatures to be entered to cover up the fraud.
Mwachibe, who pleaded not guilty, was answering charges of theft by public servant and falsification of registers. The State paraded 15 witnesses, including two district commissioners and the beneficiaries.
The prosecutor further told the court that the convict abused his office and privileges and his conduct compromised the trust in government machinery in handling deceased estates.
In his judgement, magistrate Wyson Chamdimba Nkhata bemoaned the accused person’s conduct which worsened the suffering of orphans as they also lost money that meant a lot to their lives and education.
He, therefore, sentenced him to six years for theft by public servant and two years for falsification of registers, but the sentences are to run concurrently.
Mwachibe comes from Guta Village, Traditional Authority Bibi Kuluunda in Salima. n