Eleven out of the 20 people who were last week arrested for allegedly vandalizing Enukweni Police Unit appeared before Mzuzu Magistrate Court Thursday where they were denied bail while nine others were withdrawn from the case due to insufficient evidence.
State Prosecutor, Senior Superintendent Moja Phiri told the court police investigations have established that the nine be withdrawn from the case.
However, Phiri told the court that the other eleven suspects, who have been found with cases to answer, should not be granted bail, fearing their release would jeopardize further investigations of the case.
“One key suspect is still on the run and if these are granted bail, they may jeopardize investigations and compromise the arrest of the suspect,” he said.
The suspects vandalized Enukweni Police Unit last week after the police refused to release a murder suspect.
“On this material day, the suspects damaged office windows, three doors, chairs, tables. In addition, they stole two bicycles valued at K200, 000. The suspects also stole money amounting to K73, 000.
“It is estimated that the value of the damaged property and the stolen items is K5 million,” said Phiri.
According to the State Prosecutor, the suspects also stole a Nokia Lumia cell phone valued at K75, 000 belonging to Sub Inspector Henry Kamanga besides assaulting him.
“They also assaulted Constable Evame Vincent and wounded traffic officer Sergeant Mustard Smart,” he added.
Delivering his verdict, Frist Grade Magistrate (FGM) Brian Sambo said he denied bail for the suspects because they were all from the same community of Enukweni in Traditional Authority Mtwalo-Mzimba which is also scene of the crime. He said their release would likely contribute to further violence.
“All the ten state witnesses are of the same area and if granted bail, the suspect may connive with or harm the witnesses,” said Magistrate Sambo.
The eleven suspects are each charged with six counts of which theft has been recorded twice. Unlawful wounding and malicious damage and assault, causing actual bodily harm are other counts with the latter also appearing twice on the charge sheet.
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