A prison warder in Mulanje on Tuesaday escaped a custodial sentence after the third grade magistrate’s court gave him a suspended sentence for the offence of theft.

Geofrey Kumbukani Sayiwa who worked at Mulanje prison, was arrested last week and charged with theft on allegations that he stole a water pump at the institution.

Appearing before her worship Mifa Chimkudzu on Friday, the accused pleaded guilty to the charge that contravenes section 278 of the penal code.

Giving her sentence today, third grade magistrate Chimkudzu said action by the accused was contradicting what security persons are supposed to do.

“Although the accused pleaded guilty on his own, what he did was bad, she said saying the accused therefore required a maximum penalty which in this case is 5 years imprisonment with hard labour.

Chimkudzu however said since apart from pleading guilty on his own, the accused had also automatically lost his job, the court would be considerate.

She therefore sentenced him to 9 months imprisonment with hard labour but suspended to 12 months.

During the arrest police also recovered the pump donated to Mulanje prison by Saint Egidio of the Roman Catholic Church and worthy MK1.5 million.

Aged 32, Saiwa comes from Balakasi village, traditional authority Chikowi in Zomba.

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