Malawi army soldier convicted for disembowelling man over beer bill

The First Grade Magistrate Court in Mzuzu has convicted a Soldier from Moyale Barracks of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) for disembowelling a 38 year old man at Jombo Trading Centre on Christmas Day in 2012.

Court records show that Corporal Davie Nganga 34 attacked Innocent Chandiwira because he had failed to pay for the booze bill he had taken at JCO Bottle store in the area.

Magistrate Cuthbert Phiri jailed the ‘macho’ Soldier on Friday and is expected to sentence Nganga on Monday.

Ironically, Nganga of Matwika Village, Traditional Authority Nkanda in Mulanje District, is not the proprietor of the drinking joint but just wanted to showcase his fighting antics.

Police said Nganga used a broken bottle for disembowelling Chandiwira.   The victim’s entrails were sutured back at Mzuzu Central Hospital.

But in mitigation defence lawyer George Kadzipatike of Jivason and Company quashed the State’s prayer for a deterrent sentence than that ordinarily given to offenders under section 235 of the Penal Code because Nganga was a soldier saying it does not make sense.

“If this court takes that prayer seriously, it, the Court, will be practising discrimination, which is, in any form, prohibited under section 20(1) of the Constitution. My client should be sentenced like any other first offender, convicted of the offence of an act intended to cause grievous bodily harm, having regard to all other mitigating factors,” he submitted to court.

Instead Kadzipatike asked the Court to exercise leniency when sentencing saying his client has automatically lost his job with the MDF with all accrued benefits.

“Therefore this Court should not jail him. The conviction alone is heavy punishment,” Kadzipatike prayed.

He also asked the Court to order the convict to compensate the complainant saying if the convict is jailed the complainant will gain nothing apart from perpetually nursing his injuries.

“He is a first offender and the Court should give a non-custodial sentence,” Kadzipatike said.

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