First Grade Magistrate Court in Mchinji has convicted and fined two men, Bright Malunga, 37, and Lewis Mwangwera, 42, to pay K10,000 each for importation of used military uniform without authorization, contravening section 191(3) of the Penal Code.
Through state prosecutor Assistant Superintendent Helix Kamkweche, the court heard that the two were arrested on October 4, 2023 by police at Mchinji One Stop Border after being found in possession of 50 pieces of used British Army uniform without permit inside two unregistered motor vehicles.
He added that the vehicles, Iveco Euro Cargo and Ford Transit Van, were sent from United Kingdom by a relative, a Mr Patrick Kandaya, who works with the British Army.
Kamkweche further said that during clearance of the two motor vehicles, police officers also managed to find eight assault rifle magazines, rifle cleaning kits, assorted jungle bags, five small sleeping bags, assorted military boots, one bullet proof vest, two military shovels, one beret and two military gallons.
Malunga and Mwangwera were convicted on their own plea and, in mitigation, the two asked for mercy, citing that they are first offenders.
In the state’s submission, prosecutor Kamkweche prayed for stiffer punishment, saying the case could have potential to pose a threat to national security and instigate terrorism.
First Grade Magistrate Yohane Nkhata concurred with the state and slapped the two with a fine of K10,000 each or, in default, serve three months’ imprisonment with hard labour. He also ordered that the uniforms be forfeited to the government.
According to Mchinji Police Public Relations Officer Limbani Mpinganjira, the two paid the fine.
Malunga hails from Chiresa Village in Traditional Authority Kaphuka in Dedza while Mwangwera hails from Mwabungulu Village under the area of Traditional Authority Kilupula in Karonga.
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