Court releases Mzuzu University student leader on bail

The Mzuzu Magistrate Court has released on bail Abel Phompho, President of the Mzuzu University Student Representative Council (MUSREC) who was under police detention since last Thursday.

The council president was arrested for clobbering a fellow student, Richard Salaniponi, to unconsciousness over students unions’ office keys.

The suspect was granted bail by the Magistrate Court Tuesday on condition that he pays K5000 cash bond, K30 000 non cash security and report to Mzuzu Police every Monday. He fulfilled the condition.

Phompho had been behind bars for six days after being denied a development Mzuzu Police Spokesperson, Maurice Chapola, said was to protect his life.

Abel Phompho - On bail

Abel Phompho – On bail

He said without considering the nature of the offence, the suspect was denied police bail because “his case was still under investigation and for his own safety.”

Phompho, 25, who hails from Mtumula Village, TA Katunga in Chikhwawa District, is a final year Bachelor of Education student and is due to finish in December.

According to reports from Mzuni, the suspect is serving a six-week suspension as MUSREC president for allegedly plundering students’ union coffers.

He beat up Salaniponi, the student union speaker, with a knobkerrie and left him in a pool of his own blood before escaping.

Phompho reportedly wanted to get keys to the student union office to access a document from the University of Malawi Student Union (UMSU) leader which would act as a defense tool for one of the battalion of financial cases he has been implicated in but Salaniponi refused to let him enter the office because of his suspension.

The victim, a fourth year Bachelor of Arts student, endured a deep cut on his right eye after the beating with a knobkerrie and was also heavily punched in the stomach.

Phompho’s action caused strife at the institution forcing students to break into his room and burning everything inside it including his laptop, school papers, clothes and home theatre.

According to Nyasa Times investigations, Phompho swindled K69 000 of Mzuni administration money and K21 000 of student union money in allowances for a meeting he never attended.

“He failed to explain because he has no documents to show that he attended any meeting,” one of the student union leaders told Nyasa Times.

 

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