By Staff Reporter
Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Friday sentenced Jabil Rabson, 45, Hassan Kafinolo, 36 and Ajida Seleman, 32 to 2 years imprisonment with hard labour each for damaging property belonging to Chipunga Estate worthy K87 million in Traditional Authority Bwananyambi in the district.
During court proceedings, Station Prosecution Officer, lnspector Amos Mwase told the court that the three convicts on January 11, 2022 mobilised themselves and invaded Chipunga Estate claiming that the land belongs to their forefathers.
The convicts chased away estate workers who reported for duties and furiously demolished a fence and burnt down the bridge which was constructed by the said estate.
As if that was not enough, the irate trio went ahead and cut down Mtangatanga and Bluegum trees on a five acre land, all property worthy millions of kwacha.
Prosecutor Mwase added that when police rushed to the scene for intervention, the villagers smashed windscreens of two police motor vehicles.
Appearing in court, the trio which was arrested two weeks later pleaded not guilty prompting the state to parade seven witnesses who testified against them.
In mitigation, all the convicts pleaded for court’s leniency stating that they are breadwinners and that their families would suffer if sent to prison.
In submission, prosecutor Mwase asked for a stiff penalty observing that the convicts planned to commit the offence as they walked from their respective homes to the estate saying they should have thought of consequences before their actions.
Mwase further said the estate invested a lot of money to construct a bridge and the trees saying this therefore required a sentence proportional and befitting the crime inorder to end that evil mind.
Passing the judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state hence sentenced each of the convicts to 2-years imprisonment with hard labour to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.
All convicts hail from Traditional Authority Bwananyambi in Mangochi.