Court jails clinic guard for stealing a box of Coartem

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A 37-YEAR-OLD security guard at Kapala Clinic in Chipangali District has been slapped with six months suspended sentence for stealing one box of Coartem worth 1,600 Kwacha property of Ministry of Health.

Magistrate Moses Phiri convicted and sentenced Davies Nyirenda who stood charged with one count of theft by public servant.

Nyirenda stole the drugs on unknown date but between November 3 and 4, 2020.

Magistrate Phiri said all the three witnesses proved that Nyirenda stole the medicine.

He said the clinic in-charge Misheck Hamunji who was the first witness said when he discovered that drugs were being stolen at the clinic, he decided to share the news with other members of staff.

Magistrate Phiri said on November 4, 2020, he went to Chipata Central Hospital with Nyirenda adding that the convict had a Laptop bag that he did not want to leave with anyone.

He said he decided to send Nyirenda to do something at the hospital and that it was during that time that he searched his bag.

Magistrate Phiri said when Hamunji checked the convict’s bag, he found one box of coartem and the keys to the pharmacy department.

In his judgment, Magistrate Phiri said the six months’ sentence was suspended for 12 months.

He said he gave Nyirenda a suspended sentence so that he does not suffer twice since he had already lost his job.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Phiri jailed Mathews Phiri to six months imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in 620 grammes of marijuana along Lunkhwakwa stream.

Phiri was arrested by DEC, Drug Enforcement Commission officers on October 29, 2020.

In defence, Phiri claimed that he did not know anything about the marijuana.

He said Drug Enforcement Commission officers were just victimizing him because he refused to be their informer.

In mitigation, Phiri said his father died last week and that he had two children while his wife was unwell.

But Magistrate Phiri said he heard the mitigation adding that people who deal in marijuana were the promoter of other crimes such as defilement, rape and many others.

He said the sentence was with effect from October 29, 2020.

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