Lilongwe-based man, Blessings Lifa, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to the charge of killing 10 kabaza operators and robbing them of their motorcycles.
High Court Judge Anabel Mtalimanja has convicted Lifa, a resident of Lilongwe’s Biwi Township, who is waiting for sentencing.
Legal Aid Bureau Director Masauko Chamkakala Thursday confirmed that his organisation was representing Lifa in the case.
“Legal Aid Bureau is representing the accused in the case,” Chamkakala said.
Lifa told the court that he killed some of the victims with his bare hands and not with any object.
The court heard that Lifa’s latest victim is Dismus Emmanuel, whom he hired at Petroda Filling Station in Lilongwe by cheating him that he was going to collect bags of cement .
He said, as the kabaza operator was busy organising himself in order to put the bags of cement on the motorcycle, he smashed his head with a heavy metal objects, killing him instantly.
Lifa buried Emmanuel’s body within the premises and took his motorcycle and put it up for sale in Ntcheu District.
Lifa, 34, is from Mphulo Village, Traditional Authority Ganya, in Ntcheu District.
The development is coming barely a week after Eastern Region Police Commissioner Casper Chalera expressed worry over increased cases of motorcycle taxis’ robbery.
“That is why we are advising motorcycle taxi operators (kabaza operators) to avoid plying their trade during odd hours, where they expose themselves to robbers. We, as police, are concerned with recent cases of murder targeting kabaza operators and some incidences where kabaza operators who conduct their business at night are being hired for criminal activities.
“Cases of robbery with violence targeting kabaza operators continue to rise in the country. There are incidences where the kabaza operators are killed by dubious customers,” Chalera said.
He said this during the 2022 First Quarter Eastern Region Crime Performance Review Meeting in Zomba.
Kabaza and Motorcycle Taxis Association of Malawi Chairperson Moses Mwalabu said last week that they were working hand-in-hand with law enforcers to address problems that have been identified.
“We proposed to the police that they should be arresting any kabaza operator who is found conducting business at night but we are yet to get a response,” Mwalabu said.