A 62-year-old village headman in Malawi’s eastern district of Balaka has been ordered to pay a fine of K85, 000 or in default serve a 12-months jail term with hard labour for killing a dog and maliciously damaging crops and windscreen of a vehicle belonging to one of his subjects.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Yohane Chaomba told the Ulongwe Third Grade Magistrate’s court on Friday that Village Headman Peter Kasanga whose real name is Michael Mailosi was on March 19, found plucking Malambe fruits in the garden of Yona Nansambo.
“This annoyed the victim was annoyed after noticing that his crops were being damaged in the process and he asked the Village Headman to stop plucking off the fruits. But the Village Headman denied and then started insulting the victim a development that led to a fight.
“When the chief’s relatives heard this, they rushed to the garden where they joined the fight and from there they went to the house of the victim and damaged the windscreen of his vehicle and also killed his dog,” Chaomba told the court.
All the suspects pleaded not guilty to the charge of killing an animal and malicious damage which is contrary to section 343 and 344 of the Penal code.
However, the court convicted them after the state paraded witnesses including the investigator Sergeant Bernard Chideru who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
Sergeant Chaomba asked the court to consider giving the suspects stiffer sentence considering that the Village Headman and his relatives portrayed a bad image.
“As a Village Headman, he was supposed to be exemplary and what he did shows that he lacks good manners.’ Chaomba said.
In mitigation, the Village Headman pleaded for leniency saying that he is of age and his wife is sick. And the six others, asked the court to forgive them saying they were first offenders.
Third Grade Magistrate Peter Mthunzi conquered with the state that the Village Headman and his relatives deserved a stiffer sentence because what they did is a disgrace to the whole village.
He therefore ordered the Village Headman to pay fine of K60, 000.00 for malicious damage and K25, 000.00 for killing a dog or in default serve 12-months imprisonment with hard labour.
Magistrate Mthunzi also ordered each of the five suspects to pay a fine of K25, 000 for malicious damage and K10, 000.00 for killing a dog or in default serve 9 months Imprisonment with hard labour.
Magistrate Mthunzi went on to convict a standard 8 pupil to 9 months imprisonment with hard labour but suspended it to 15 months.
By Friday afternoon, all the suspects were yet to pay the fine.
Michael Mailosi and all the six others come from Peter Kasonga village, Traditional Authority Kalembo in the same district of Balaka.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :