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Arson Lands Man Behind Bars for 14 Years

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The First Grade Magistrate’s Court in Mulanje has sentenced a 32-year-old man to 14 years Imprisonment with Hard Labor (IHL) for setting ablaze a house of Mr. Ndini Nahipa on suspicion that he was keeping blood suckers in his house.

Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Glory Makondetsa, told the court on Friday that the convict, Paul Namangale and five accomplices, committed the crime in September 2017.

"They also assaulted Mr. Nahipa and stole assorted items valued at K3, 350, 000," he said.

She said police arrested five suspects while Namangale escaped.

It was only in 2018 that police arrested Namangale and charged him with arson, theft and assault.

The convict pleaded not guilty to all the charges and this forced police to parade witnesses to prove the cases.

Satisfied with the evidence, magistrate Smart Maruwasa slapped Namangale with the jail sentence, saying it is primitive to think that someone is a blood sucker or is keeping blood suckers.

"What you did was a violation of the right to own property as enshrined in the Constitution of Malawi under Section 28," said Magistrate Maruwasa.

He then sentenced Namangale to 14 years to prison for arson. 

For theft and assault, the Magistrate gave 12 and 6 months suspended sentences respectively following the convict's decision to compensate the complainant with K70, 000.

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

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