By Kondwani Magombo – Mana.
The First Grade Magistrate Court in Namwera, Mangochi, on Wednesday sentenced 19-year-old, Yusuf Wisiki, to 10 year imprisonment for arson, malicious damage and escaping from lawful custody.
State Prosecutor, Sub Inspector Blessings Madikhula explained to the court that during the night of May 25 Wisiki’s two relatives were arrested by Masuku Police officers and community policing members on some offence.
Madikhula said one of the suspects, Jackson Wisiki, threw himself to a cruising vehicle and he sustained multiple injuries and later died at Mulibwanji Hospital, a development that, according to the prosecutor, angered Yusuf.
“Out of anger, Yusufu Wisiki during the night, slashed a winter maize crop in a garden belonging to community policing chairperson, Ayatu Amidu,” explained Madikhula.
He added: “He then torched Amidu’s house before he broke down a door of a house of another community policing member.”
The prosecutor added that Masuku Police arrested Yusufu on July 17 after the matter was reported to the formation and he was charged with two offences of arson and malicious damage.
Appearing before First Grade Magistrate Mtunduwatha Mpasu, Wisiki pleaded not guilty to the two charges and the state paraded three witnesses who testified against him.
The court found Wisiki guilty and convicted him but the latter prayed for leniency saying he acted out of anger.
But the state prayed for a stiff sentence describing the convict’s conduct as a threat to the security of the village.
Wisiki brought the case to an abrupt adjournment when he bolted from the dock before his sentencing, forcing the police and members of the community to chase after him.
He was apprehended and brought back to court two hours later to face the Magistrate Mpasu again but this time with additional charge of escaping from lawful custody.
Mpasu slapped the recaptured convict with a six-year jail term on the first count of arson; two years on the second count of malicious damage and another two years for escaping from lawful custody.
Wisiki, who hails from Masuku Village Traditional Authority Bwananyambi in Mangochi, is expected to serve the sentences consecutively.