The Balaka Second Grade Magistrate court has sentenced a 41-year-old Pastor of a certain Ministry at Balaka Town for conducting in manner likely that could breach peace.
Police Prosecutor Constable Aida Mzama told the court that the suspect Pastor Victor Nankhata together with his co-accused Zione Namboya 25, on Monday morning went the house of the complainant (name withheld) to search claiming that she has stolen two mobile phones through witchcraft.
“The suspect Pastor Nankhata was approached by the co-accused Zione Namboya who reported to him that her two mobile phones and K700.00 cash was stolen from her house by unknown criminals but the house was not broken into. Hearing this, Pastor Nankhata told the co-accused that everything is possible with God and they then started praying together,” Mzama told the court.
Mzama said that while praying, the spirit is said to have revealed to him that the phones were stolen by the complainant through witchcraft and later on, the evil spirit surrendered and told him to go to the complainant to collect the phones.
They later went to the complainant’s house to search. According to Mzama, the Pastor also claimed that he recorded the evil spirit on his mobile phone.
Upon arrival at the complainant’s house, Mzama said, the Pastor introduced himself and why he went there.
“He then went into the house to search for the stolen phones but the complainant was surprised to see the Pastor searching her house for stolen phones without the Police; and they then informed the Police who arrested and later charged him with the case of conduct likely to cause a breach of peace contrary to section 181 of the Penal code – for accusing the complainant that she was a thief and a witch.
Pastor Nankhata pleaded guilty to the offence while his co-accused Zione Namboya pleaded not guilty but upon submission, the court found them both with a case to answer and consequently convicted them.
And in her submission before judgment Constable Aida Mzama asked the court to consider giving the Pastor a stiffer sentence saying that a lot of innocent people are being victimized because of false prophesies by some Pastors.
She said this create enmity in the community.
In his mitigation, Pastor Nankhata asked for forgiveness saying he has seven children and they all depend on him while his co-accused Zione Nampota also pleaded for forgiveness saying that she is single and a bread winner for her family.
Passing judgment, Second Grade Magistrate Victor Sibu said that the constitution of Malawi provides for freedom of worship but said this does not mean that we should be insulting our friends.
Sibu said what the two did is against the law and their conduct was likely to cause a breach of peace.
But considering the mitigating factors and that the two are first offenders Sibu sentenced them to 2 months imprisonment with hard labour but later suspended it to 80 hours Community Service and ordered the two to be sweeping at Mponda Catholic Primary School.
He said he has given them such a sentence so that it should be a lesson to would be offenders.
Pastor Victor Nankhata comes from Thukwi village, Traditional Authority Mdeza in Salima district while Zione Namboya comes from Kaumphawi village, Traditional Authority Nsamala in the district of Balaka.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :