John Mchekeni, 26, has been convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in person offence which is contrary to section 14 of the Trafficking in Person Act.
The Monkey-bay First Grade Magistrate Court through John Pwitika, State Prosecutor said Monkey-bay Police officers were assigned to man Mtakataka Turn-off Road Block on the night of 14 April, 2022.
John Mchekeni arrived around 10pm driving a vehicle registration number BZ6862 from Mangochi direction to Golomoti. They discovered five boys aged between 18 to 22 years being trafficked to South Africa.
According to Sergeant Alice Sichali, Public Relations Officer for Monkey-bay Police Station said Mchekeni had no proper travelling documents and the issue was taken to Monkey-bay police for investigation.
“Mchekeni had no proper travelling documents the issue was taken to Monkey-Bay Police Station for further investigation. In court he pleaded not guilty which prompted the State to parade four witnesses who proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Sergeant Sichali.
The prosecutor told the court that these type of cases are many across the country and when the youths are taken to the other country others lose their lives on their way while others faces different forms of challenges.
“These cases are rampant across the country and when the youth are taken outside the country others lose their lives on the way while others face various forms of exploitation hence the need for stiffer punishment to act as a deterrent to would-be offenders,” said Pwitiko.
In mitigation, Mchekeni pleaded for leniency saying he cares for his sick mother and he is a breadwinner for his family.
Mtunduwatha Mpasu, First Grade Magistrate, agreed with the State’s submission and sentenced the convict with 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labour.
Mchekeni comes from Chikolore Village, Traditional Authority Kachindamoto in Dedza District.“`