Karonga First Grade Magistrate’s court Monday slapped 34-year-old man, Palisha Swira, with a K100,000 fine or in default spend 12 months imprisonment with hard labour for faking a story that alleged a police officer had died ‘defecating charcoal’ after confiscating bags of charcoal from a trader at Songwe Border post.
Karonga police deputy publicist Frank Black said in a statement that Swira’s misdemeanor caused fear and alarm to the public peace.
The court, through state prosecutor sub-inspector Alfred Chidzere, heard that on January 2, 2020 Swira produced an audio about the death of sub-inspector Michael Mwangomba, popularly known as Mike, which had gone viral on social media.
Swira alleged that late Mwangomba confiscated two bags of charcoal from a certain man at Songwe Border.
In the audio, the accused further alleged that officer Mwangomba was bewitched and he was defecating charcoal.
In his court appearance, Swira pleaded guilty to the charge. The state also asked the court to play the audio to which the court did not object.
In submission, the state prayed for a stiffer sentence arguing the convict’s conduct created fear and alarm not only to the deceased family but to the police as a whole.
However, Swira, in his mitigation, pleaded for a lighter sentence saying he is a sole bread winner for his family and looks after his aged mother.
In his determination, First Grade Magistrate Julius Kalambo concurred with the state on the need for a stiff penalty since the offence indeed brought fear and alarm to the public.
However, he observed that while such an offence attracted a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment with hard labour, Swira would be pitied upon since he was a first time offender.
Magistrate Kalambo then asked Swira to pay a K100,000 fine or in default serve twelve months in prison, to which Swira preferred the former.
He hails from Naolondo Village, Traditional Authority Mwaulambia in Chitipa District.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :