Eight people who assaulted and grievously harmed Escom employees at Kasitu in Nkhotakota have been sentenced to three years imprisonment with hard labour by the Nkhunga First Grade Magistrate court.
Court records indicate that on the night of 1 May, 2020 Escom employees were working on a faulty line at Kasitu. In course of their duty, the eight mobilized their counterparts and started assaulting the employees arguing they were blood suckers. In process, the employees sustained injuries of different degrees.
Upon their arrest, the eight were charged with proposing violence, acts intended to cause grievous harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm which contravenes section 87, 235 and 254 of the penal code respectively.
The eight suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges prompting the state to parade six witnesses who proved the cases beyond reasonable doubt.
On September 7, 2020 the eight were found guilty and their mitigation ranged from being orphans to sole bread winners for their respective families.
State prosecutor Assistant Superintendent Davie Kusamale registered his concern on how innocent lives are being lost due to blood sucking myths. Kusamale also said right to movement which is enshrined in the county’s laws was compromised and apart from incurring various degrees in of injuries, the employees also lost some properties including mobile phones and Escom equipment.
First Grade Magistrate Kingsley Buleya when passing sentence while concurring with the state said cases of such nature are rampant in the country and to put a stop to it, those convicted need to be severely punished.
Buleya then sentenced the eight to 24, 36 and 18 months imprisonment with hard labour for the first, second and third counts resepectively, sentence to run concurrently.
Meanwhile, the court has given a suspended sentence to the female convict, Zione Manda for being young and that she contributed less to the occurrence of the offences.
The eight, John Manda 37, Ellia Chirwa 35, Patrick Manda 38, Letison Chirwa 32, Fandison Chirwa 29, Ishmael Phiri 25, Zione Manda 23 and Leonard Kamanga 22 all come from Paulosi village T/A Kafuzila in Nkhotakota district.