Ex- Peoples Trading Centre staff get 7 years imprisonment with hard labour for theft


The Blantyre Principal Resident Magistrate’s Court has sentenced two ex- Peoples Trading Centre (PTC) employees and a businessman to seven-and-a-half years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for stealing about K100 million from the company.

Principal Resident Magistrate Innocent Nebi jailed Richard Kamunga, who was working as chief accountant, and Clement Michongwe, who was working as disbursement supervisor, and businessman Mc Hellings Kayala in absentia as he is on the run.

Nebi, who is now Assistant Registrar at the Industrial Relations Court, started hearing the case in 2013 and sentenced the trio on January 23 2018.


The three faced six counts of theft, contrary to Section 278 of the Penal Code.

Nebi said, in the first and second counts, the court convicted all the three for stealing K34,046,802.90 from PTC while Kamunga and Michongwe were convicted in the third count for stealing K20, 671,278.

In the fourth and fifth counts, all the three were convicted for stealing K35,142,634.60 from PTC and, in the last count, Kayala was convicted for stealing K4, 671,591 from the retail giant.


Nebi said, in total, about K102 million was lost in the fraud and no recovery was made.

Nebi said Kamunga and Michongwe had breached the trust of their employer, which resulted in the loss of huge amounts of money.

The magistrate said the offence was well calculated, hence passing a custodial sentence.

The court sentenced all the three to serve 36 months IHL in the first two counts and, in the third count, Kamunga and Michongwe were sentenced to serve 24 months while, in the fourth and fifth counts, all the three were sentenced to 30 months IHL, with Kalaya being sentenced to 12 months IHL in the last count.

Nebi said the sentences would run consecutively, which means Kamunga and Michongwe would serve a total of 90 months or seven-and-half years while Kayala will serve a total of 78 months IHL or six-and-and-half years when he is apprehended.

Kayala will face another charge of escaping lawful arrest.

Reacting to the conviction and sentences, PTC Marketing and Communications Manager, Chiku Kaphuka, welcomed the court judgement.

“This will serve as a warning to others that the long arm of the law will always catch up with them,” Kaphuka said

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