Mulanje First Grade Magistrate’s Court has sentenced Paul Namangale, 32, to 14 years imprisonment for torching a house of a man he accused of harbouring purported bloodsuckers.
Mulanje Police Station prosecutor Gladstone Kanyezi told the court on Friday that Namangale and five others burnt Ndini Nahipa’s house in September 2017 at Tome Village in Senior Chief Mabuka in the district.
He said the five, Charles Dickson (24), Dorothy Mose (30), Alice Kambewa (32), Frank Zwangeti (35) and Agness January (39) ransacked Nahipa’s house and went away with assorted items valued at K3 million.
Following a report, he said police arrested the five while Namangale escaped. It was only in 2018 that police arrested and charged him with arson, theft and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but police paraded witness who proved him guilty.
Magistrate Smart Maruwasa said it is primitive to think that someone is a bloodsucker or is keeping bloodsuckers. He also said Namangale’s conduct is a violation of the right to own property as enshrined in the Constitution.
“What the convict did violates the right to own property as provided under Section 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi,” he said.
For the second and third counts, the magistrate gave the convict 12 and six months suspended sentences, respectively, following the convict’s decision to compensate the complainant K70 000.
The rest were all acquitted on the charge of theft, but for arson, Zwangeti and Dickson got 36 months each while the other three got six months each.