The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court Friday slapped a Facebook convict Ignatius Kamwanje with a K200,000 fine for a malicious post on social media which alleged that money was being stolen from National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc client’s accounts.
Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa spared Kamwanje of custodial sentence on the basis that he was a first offender but blasted the convict on his conduct.
“The convict committed a serious offence of positing unsolicited information and Cyber crimes like these needs stiff punishment from offenders.”
“But in the current case, the convict is the first offender and therefore I sentence him to pay a fine of K200,000 or in default serve 18 months imprisonment,” said Chirwa.
Kamwanje paid the fine and was released after spending three nights in jail after being convicted on his admission of guilt on Tuesday.
Kamwanje’s brother Eric, threatened journalists not to take pictures of his brother as he was being released saying they should get consent from him.
“Leave Ignatius Kamwanje alone, he is not trying to be President of this country! Leave him alone, I am Eric Kamwanje,” he charged.
Kamwanje, an employee of World Vision Malawi was arrested in April this year after NBM plc had filed a complaint following his spate of damaging posts, among them, that NBM plc employees were involved in an ‘inside cartel’ to steal money from customers.
He alleged that four employees had been arrested in connection with the theft.
Kamwanje’s lawyer Pacharo Mwenelupembe prayed for leniency arguing that Kamwanje is the first offender.
She also told the court that Kamwanje will apologize on Facebook over the posts.
The convict first wrote the story on his Facebook wall on 1st March 2021 that his relative had his K8.7 million stolen at NBM plc with the help of the bank employees.
He wrote again on 27th March 2021 where he alleged that there were four cases at the courts and that others are in jail because of the issue.
“Those with National Bank accounts, check your balances regularly…ndalama zikutengedwa mma accounts. Yesterday about 4 cases at the court. Surprisingly it’s an inside cartel bcz others are in jail as I am talking. The relative whom I posted a story on my page and whose 2.8 million went missing with a balance of about 5.7 kulibe kalikonse..,” reads part of his post.