The First Grade Magistrate’s Court in Chitipa has ordered one Taongera Gondwe, 36, and eight others to pay a fine of K4,617,000 for damaging Nthalire Police Unit office block and staff houses.
The court heard through state prosecutor, Inspector Oscar Mwamutowe that on May 4, 2022 the eight damaged the police structures following the arrest of a suspect of robbery whom they torched to death.
The suspect, whose particulars are not known, earlier on the material day stabbed a motor cycle taxi operator and robbed him the motorcycle.
After police officers arrested him at Nyika National Park gate, irate villagers overpowered them while on their way to the office and torched him to death.
The angry mob proceeded to Nthalire Police Unit where they damaged the office block and staff houses.
Appearing in court, the suspects denied the charge levelled against them prompting the state to parade four witnesses who successfully testified against them.
In mitigation, the convicts prayed for leniency, saying they are first offenders and bread winners for their families.
In his submission, Mwamutowe told the court that the convicts acted as rebels by attacking and damaging government security agency’s infrastructure, adding that they created insecurity to the people of Nthalire and the tendency of committing such offences is very common, hence the need for a stiff penalty.
Passing judgement, magistrate Billy Ngosi concurred with the state and fined the convicts K513,000 each or in default to serve 30 months in prison.
They all hail from Fayile Village, Traditional Authority Nthalire in Chitipa District.