Mchinji Magistrate Court on Tuesday ordered 49 male students from Mchinji Secondary School to pay a fine of K45,000 each or in default serve a 42 month jail term for vandalising property at the school worth K3 million.
Police prosecutor Humphrey Makhalira told the court that the students all in Form three, burned the deputy head teacher’s office and broke windows of classrooms at the school in anger after the school management failed to provide them with eggs for lunch.
However, the development did not augur well with the students who organised themselves at a place called ‘Drain of Paris’ a place within their school premises where sinister activities are organised and agreed to contribute money to buy petrol to burn the school.
The form three male students boycotted the Wednesday nsima with beans lunch and went on to write their examinations in the afternoon but around 11pm on the same day they switched off the main electricity switch and burned the deputy head teachers office which had printed examination papers, a heavy duty photocopier, school jerseys and stationery.
The Head teacher of the school Harry Kamwaza reported the incident to the police the same night and the police in its investigations arrested 49 students who were charged with arson and malicious damage. They all pleaded guilty to the charges.
Mchinji First Grade Magistrate Rodney Meja Phiri ordered the 49 students to pay K15, 000 for arson and K35, 000 for malicious damage and 47 students have since paid the fine.
The Magistrate ordered that the K35, 000 be given to the school management to replace the damaged items and K15, 000 to the government.
Magistrate Phiri said the fine was given to the students to deter them from committing similar offences in future.
Last year students at Mchinji School also vandalised property at the school after disagreements with school authorities, during the incident I5 students were arrested.