Convicted MCP officials pay fine, avoid jail time

Convicted opposition  Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader John Tembo’s aide Portipher Chidaya, and his bodyguard-cum-driver William Phakamisa have paid their fines to court totalling K120 000 (about $480) imposed to them to avoid jail term.

Chidaya who is MCP administrative secretary , Phakamisa, Patrick Moyo, Grace Masamba and Potipher Kachitsa were convicted  by the Lilongwe Magistrate on charges of unlawful wounding and malicious damage.

They were found guilty for  assaulting Lilongwe North MP Titus Malipa on July 1 2009 at MCP headquarters in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.

Chidaya (68), Phakamisa (58) and Moyo paid their fines of  K20 000 (about $80) each for unlawful wounding.

Chidaya: Paid the fines

Phakamisa also paid another K20,000 as he  and Kachitsa, were also convicted of malicious damage to Dowa West MP Abele Kayembe vehicle BP1310 whose windscreen was smashed.

Masamba (75) and Moyo, who were found guilty of assault causing bodily harm, were each fined K10 000 (about $40).

The political violence is said to have taken place when Malipa and Kayembe had mobilised supporters to hold a demonstration calling for Tembo’s ouster as the leader.

The court however, acquitted another accused Lucy Kalebe from the case because there was no evidence to showing she was near MCP headquarters during the incident.

First grade magistrate Cecilia Onsewa said she did not send the convicts to jail  because of their advanced ages and that they were first offenders.

The court however, acquitted another accused Lucy Kalebe from the case because there was no evidence to showing she was near MCP headquarters during the incident.

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