The Rumphi First Grade Magistrate Court has convicted and sentenced Zaulendo Mfune, 46 and 7 others for setting ablaze properties worthy millions which contravenes section (337)a of the penal.
The court through state prosecutor Inspector Kelvin Ng’ambi heard that the convicts on August 4, 2021 set ablaze properties of Daliyasi Mfune including houses and 30 heaps of maize, all items worthy K18 Million.
They later proceeded to other two victims and also set ablaze properties worthy K36 Million after the victims refused to take part in rituals which meant to be witchcraft cleansing using petrol bomb while threatened to kill the relatives of the victims who were watching from a far.
Appearing in court all pleaded not guilty prompting the state to parade six witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
In mitigations, all the convicts prayed for court leniency stating that they have family obligations.
In his submission Prosecutor Ng’ambi expressed his concern over the barbaric act by the convicts. He further said that the convicts planned well to commit the crime as evidenced by using petrol bomb to set ablaze hence prayed for a long custodial sentence.
Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Cuthbert Phiri condemned the malpractice of setting ablaze other people’s properties.
He therefore sentenced each of them to 8 years for first count, 6 years for the second counts and 4 years imprisonment with hard labour for the third count. The sentences to run concurrently.
All convicts hail from Traditional Authority Chikulamayembe in Rumphi.