‘Not guilty’ Court acquits MCP MP, officials

Lilongwe Magistarte Court has dismissed the case  against member of parliament  for Lilongwe Nsinja (MCP), Peter Chalera and six other officials of the party and acquiited them.

Chalera was charged alongside former MPs Lyton Dzombe and Dyson Kamphambe Nkhoma for causing damage to government property.

Others were, Gideon Makowa, Wyson Dzinyemba Soko (MCP director of youth), Jentala Sandram and Francis Luka .

Chalera: Acquitted

They  were accused of smashing a vehicle belonging to the National Intelligence Services (NIS) at Kaputalambwe Primary School on the eve of Dowa South East by-election in October, 2010.

No guity

Magistrate Young Ng’oma ruled that the prosecution, which was led by Dennis Chipao, had failed to prove their case and that seven witnesses were making contradictory statements and clearly said they didn’t see the accused damaging the vehicle.

“The glaring contradictions and inconsistencies leaves this court in dilemma as to which piece of evidence to believe,” said Magistrate Ngoma.

He noted that Section 187 of the penal code places the burden of proof “beyond reasonable doubt in the hands of the State.”

The Magistarte said having carefully considered the facts, he came to to the conclusion that the state has failed to prove a prima facie case and found the accused “not guilty” accordingly.

Politically motivated

MCPs administrative secretary Portipher Chidaya had always said the charges were “politically motivated.”

“The case was politically insipired but justicehave prevailed,” said Chidaya after the officials were acquitted.

Acquitted: MCP officials

Speaking to Nyasa Times, MP Chalera said he was “happy” to be acquitted.

He said “good has triumphed over evil.”

And Dzombe said he was looking forward to having “a proper sleep.”

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