Mulanje arsonist given 14 years jail sentence

Mulanje First Grade Magistrate’s court has sentenced a 32-year-old man, Paul Namangale to 14 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) for  torching a house of a man he accused of harbouring purported bloodsuckers.

An artist’s impression of a court proceeding

Police officer Gladstone Kanyezi, prosecuting,  told the court on Friday  that in September 2017, Namangale and five others set on fire the house of Ndini Nahipa at Tome Village in Senior Chief Mavuka in the district  alleging that he was protecting blood suckers.

Following a report, Police arrested five suspects while Namangale escaped.

It was only in 2018 that Police arrested Namangale and charged him with arson, theft and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Namangale pleaded not guilty to all the charges but  police paraded witness proving him quilty.

First Grade Magistrate Smart Maruwasa noted that it was primitive to think that someone is a blood sucker or is keeping blood suckers.

He also said what Namangale did was a violation of the right to own property as enshrined in the supreme law of the country.

“What Namangale did violas  the right to own property as indicated under Section 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi,” Maruwasa said.

Maruwasa concurred with the state’s earlier submission for a stiff penalty saying the complainant had suffered a lot due to the act.

He sentenced Namangale to 14 years IHL.

Namangale hails from Tome village, Senior Chief Mabuka in Mulanje.

The rest were all acquitted on the charge of theft.

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