University of Malawi student imprisoned over theft

By Chisomo Phiri

Zomba Chief Resident Magistrate Court has on Tuesday afternoon sentenced University of Malawi ( UNIMA) student, Martin Kachigayo, to twenty two month imprisonment with hard labour for theft of laptops and phones belonging to fellow students.

Kachigayo, 26, was found with the stolen items at Chakanda township in Zomba District, where some UNIMA students reside.

In court, he pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against him.

Kachigayo argued that he stole the phones and laptops because he wanted to find money for accommodation and food since he had no one to take care of him while at the university.

Kachigayo, right

While acknowledging that Kachigayo was a first offender, Magistrate Austin Banda argued that Kachigayo posed as a threat not only to his fellow students but also to surrounding communities and he needed a custodial sentence to deter other students with similar intentions.

The magistrate also argued that he knows that there are a lot of needy student at the Zomba-based university but they never think of stealing as a way to bail themselves out of what they go through.

He therefore, sentenced Kachigayo to a twenty two month imprisonment with hard labour effective April 19 2023.

Until his arrest, Kachigayo was a third year student pursuing Bachelor of Arts in Theology at Chanco.

He hails from Kameme Village in Chitipa District.