Nkhunga Magistrate’s Court in Nkhotakota on Monday sentenced seven people to three years imprisonment each for hacking Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) employees on suspicion that they were blood suckers.
The court convicted eight people, but one was given a suspended sentence.
The eight are John Manda (37), Ellia Chirwa (35), Patrick Manda (38), Letison Chirwa (32), Fandison Chirwa (29), Ishmael Phiri (25), Zione Manda (23), and Leonard Kamanga, (22)—all from Paulosi Village, Traditional Authority Kafuzila in the district.
They were convicted on charges of proposing violence, acts intended to cause grievous harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, which contravene sections 87, 235 and 254 of the Penal Code.
Nkhunga Police Station spokesperson Ignatius Esau said first grade magistrate Kingsley Buleya passed the sentence to deter attacks on alleged blood suckers in the country.
The seven pleaded not guilty to the charges, but the State paraded six witnesses to prove its case.
“In mitigation, the convicts prayed for leniency, saying they were orphans and breadwinners,” said Esau.
The eight convicts attacked Escom employees on the night of May 1 2020 at Kasitu in Nkhotakota while fixing a faulty power line.
In a statement issued on May 5 2020,Escom public relations manager Innocent Chitosi said it was unfortunate that the community vigilante group attacked the company’s employees despite “producing their identity cards, wearing branded work suits and using vehicles which had Escom colours.”