Balaka Magistrate Court has ordered a Mighty Wanderers supporter to pay a fine of K25, 000.00 or in default serve two months Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) for conducting himself in a manner that could cause a breach of peace at the Balaka Stadium.
Police Prosecutor Constable Vales Banda told the court that Patrick John Mkwezalamba who is a Wanderers supporter, on Saturday 25th October, caused havoc by banging the gate of the Stadium in protest of the referee’s decisions as his team was trailing by a goal to nil against Blantyre United.
Banda testified that the suspect was arrested immediately after the final whistle when he attacked the referee Ishmael Chizinga by grabbing his jersey as he was going to the dressing room.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of conduct likely to cause a breach of peace which is contrary to section 181 of the penal code and the court consequently convicted him.
The Police Prosecutor asked the court to consider giving the suspect a stiffer sentence, saying that the tendency showed by Mkwezalamba part of what is killing football in Malawi since a lot of people fear to go to watch football because of such conducts.
But in his mitigation, the suspect asked for leniency when passing sentence saying that he is a first offender and that he looks after seven children of which some are orphans.
First Grade Magistrate Damson Banda agreed with the Police Prosecutor that such uncalled for tendency is killing football in the country.
Before passing the judgement, Magistrate Banda advised players and supporters to accept the results of any game they play since football is a win and lose game.
He said the attack on the referee affects them and Mkwezalamba deserves a stiffer sentence so that it should be a lesson to him and would be offenders so that issues of hooliganism should be a thing of a past.
The court therefore ordered him to pay a fine of K25, 000.00 of which K20, 500.00 will be given to the referee as a compensation and K4, 500.00 will go to the government and he has since paid the fine.
Patrick John Mkwezalamba comes from Alaston village, in the area of Traditional Authority Chikowi in Zomba district.
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