An eight member grouping of young men calling itself “B13” has been arrested in Lilongwe for allegedly attacking and vandalizing primary schools in Malawi’s capital city Area 25. The boys were found in possession of panga knives, screw drivers, and their uniforms.
Kanengo Police Public Relations Officer Esther Mkwanda has confirmed that the police moved in swiftly after receiving complaints of intimidation and assaults from various schools in the area and arrested the grouping that consists of both school drop outs and learners.
The boys are answering charges of being found in possession of Offensive Weapons contrary to section 313(A) of the Penal Code and Conduct causing a bleach of peace contrary to 181 of the penal Code
Nyasa Times understands that the teenage boys have assembled the group this very year and that their parents have confided in the police that their children have been stealing from their homes but they had no idea that they were also doing it outside.
The police are anticipating of sending the boys to Chisomo Childrens Club, is a life changing place for young people, where they will be monitored with help of the Club for the betterment of their future.
The case has since been adjourned because they are following a procedure called diversion due to the ages of these boys.
In the context of criminal law, diversion refers to diverting a defendant out if the criminal justice system by having them complete a diversion program rather than be incarcerated or serve another alternative sentence. Criminal charges are typically dropped when a defendant successfully completes a diversion program. The defendant therefore avoids the stigma of a criminal conviction.
Nyasa Times understands that diversion programs are usually only available to defendants charged with misdemeanours and nonviolent felonies involving drugs or alcohol. In some jurisdictions, diversion may be available to defendants charged with domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, traffic-related offenses, or even writing.
The arrest comes barely months after Police also arrested members of another gang called ’11 bongos’ for terrorizing another part of the capital Malawi.