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18 months jail for stealing Malata Subsidy materials

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Rumphi First Grade Magistrate Court has convicted Symon Nyirongo, 40, and sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing 60 iron sheets and eight roof ridges meant for the Malata Subsidy programme.

The materials were valued at K237, 000.

Nyirongo, from Jalira Village, Traditional Authority Chikulamayembe in Rumphi, was arrested on August 23 2016.

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The court heard that Nyirongo stole the iron sheets and ridges at Rumphi Drimp office where they were being kept before distribution to beneficiaries.

The materials were traced to the house of one Edward Mkandawire who told the police that Nyirongo had sold them to him.

The convict pleaded guilty to the offence of theft. In mitigation, he asked for leniency considering that he has a family to look after and he is the first offender.

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However, Magistrate Cuthbert Phiri said the convict had planned to commit the offence and he benefited from it, hence deserving stiff punishment.

Parliament approved the implementation of the Decent and Affordable Housing (Cement and Malata) Subsidy Programme (DAHSP) in September 2014.

The programme is meant for poor and vulnerable Malawians to access subsidised cement and iron sheets and related building materials to improve and construct decent and durable houses at affordable prices.

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