The Chikwawa First Grade Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday sentenced 7 people to between 10 months and 5 years imprisonment for violently attacking Nsanje Police and Prison stations on 18 January this year.

“The attacks were orchestrated by the convicts following the detention of murder suspects whom the irate mob wanted to exact justice.

The convicts–3 men and 4 women–are Thoko Ronald, Robert Simenti, Tembo Grecian, Eliza Simbi, Mercy Thukuso, Grace Namondwe and Beatrice Chikopa.” P.R.O. Chikwawa Police Station Foster Benjamin narrated

Southern Region Police Prosecutor Senior Superintendent Dickens Mwambazi told the court that the convicts on rioted both at police and prison formations where they damaged property worth over K 8 million.

According to Mwambazi, the convicts also set ablaze structures at the prison lines before ransacking a police signpost.

In their trial, the 7 denied charges of inciting violence, and malicious damage, unlawful assembly and arson.

The state paraded witnesses to prove their case, leading to the conviction of the seven.

Prosecutor Mwambazi however said it is retroggressive for citizenry to damage security apparatus.

He argued for harsh custodial sentences to deter others back in Nsanje.

Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu bemoaned the tendency of attacking security establishments saying it was unwelcome in themodern-day society.

Chirundu sentenced Ronald to 5 years for arson, 10 months each for the two counts of malicious damage; 10 months for proposing violence.

The sentences are to run concurrently.

Tembo got 10 months for unlawful assembly and 3 years IHL for malicious damage while Simenti received 3 years for malicious damage.

Chirundu sentenced Namondwe and Chikopa each to 10 months and 2 years for unlawful assembly and malicious damage, respectively.

“Thukuso was found guilty of 4 counts and was slapped with 3 year jail term for inciting violence, unlawful assembly, and two counts of malicious damage; the sentences will be running concurrently. ” Benjamin added

Chirundu sentenced Simbi to 10 months imprisonment for malicious damage and unlawful assembly.

According to Chirundu, the sentences were effective from 18 January.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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