Wandale supporters get suspended sentence: Malawi tea estates land grab

Suspected land grabber, Vincent Wandale supporters have been  suspended jail sentence  to 12 month.

 Thyolo land grabbers convicted and jailed but given suspended sentence for 12 months

Thyolo land grabbers convicted and jailed but given suspended sentence for 12 months

Senior resident magistrate Thokozani Soko said the charges the 21 were answering of criminal trespass and illegal take over of land among others were a misdemeanour.

Soko said the first and second offences of consipiracy to commit a misdemeanour and criminal trespass attract a punishement of one-month imprisonment each while that of unauthorised use of land attaracks a sentence of one year.

She said the sentences were to run concureently which means they could stay in jail for one eyar.

Soko said she did not want to impose custodial sentence because the Thyolo land grabbers were first offenders and that they had shown remorse on their conduct by pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity.

She however told them not to get involved in any other offence for a year and they should ensure they bring peace in their area.

In addition, they were told to pay K5000 cash each and to provide surety to the court for the one year suspended sentence.

They have been on remand for over a month now after they were arrested for trying to take over some land owned by Comforzi Tea Estate in Thyolo.

Wandale and two other suspects remained in police custody as they pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The police prosecutors immediately paraded four state witnesses against the three suspects who are also alleged ring leaders in the land grabbing exercise.

A police investigator told the court Wandale was arrested in 2014 over similar offences.

The owner of Comforzi Tea Estate Suleman said he has lost a lot because the land grabbers cut down macademia trees.

District Commissioner for Thyolo, Thombozi said he told traditional leaders to tell their subjects against taking land illegally after Wandale met the DC.

A lands official in Thyolo said his office was overwhelmed with applications for land as people identified as Peoples Land Organisation followers wanted to pay K3500 for land at Comforzi. The case continues on Tuesday.

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5 thoughts on “Wandale supporters get suspended sentence: Malawi tea estates land grab”

  1. Kingster Bella says:

    Dictionary describes a “vigilante” as self-appointed doer of justice. This kind of behavior would be acceptable if we lived in Medieval period (Middle Ages). No matter the conviction, Wandale should be the first person to remember that we’re a civilized nation, governed by the system of laws. There is a line between Politics & Criminality. You get yourself in trouble if you incite the later.
    He may have a case regarding the land, unfortunately unlawful land grab shouldn’t be the option. These lands are protected by the laws no matter the genuine debate before them. The last thing someone can do is to mobilize uninformed villagers to commit criminality, only to face the strong hand of the law for nothing. The guy must be taken to psychiatric center for examinations..
    The only way to handle this land issue is lawful, political way. Exploring strategies to convince the government understand your side of the issue. With time, it will take the same government to change laws. It took the government of Mugabe to change the laws & redistribute lands to the indignant people. You wont force the government with such kind of primitive behavior. The best Wandale could have done was to form & structure an acceptable pressure group with acceptable objectives (goals) which would in turn help to mobilize people of different levels; MPs, Academics etc from the South for the redistribution of the land back to the owners. Such people would have helped to come up with strategies to help pressure the government listen to the cry of the local people. Some of the strategies would include huge demonstrations in Mulange & Thyolo district headquarters. And also lobbying members of parliament to speak out in Parliament for the people. It may take time, but the pressure could be more than enough for the government to suppress..
    Nobody takes seriously a person with psychopathic behavior or signs of insanity. In the end he will lose & rote in prison. I guess he loses nothing..

  2. Charly says:

    Savages.
    Half of Malawis land is not used.
    Do something there you bloody racist africans.

  3. Jacqueline says:

    That’s our land for our ancestors and needs to be returned

  4. Uncle Mugabe says:

    apapa sizolowesapo ndale ayi. malo ndi a amalawi and there’s no way anthu amderalo azivutika pamene foreigner ali ndi malo ambiri – nonsense.

  5. Timve Ziti says:

    Very fair and just ruling by the magistrate. Am sure they now understand that although there is scarcity of land understandably one doesn’t just grab sone ones land . Same as if you are broke you just don’t go around stealing.

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