THE Chipata Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a Chipata resident to five years imprisonment with hard labour for being in possession of a pangolin, a protected animal.
And the court on Friday committed a 21-year-old man of chief Madzimawe’s area to the High Court for sentencing after convicting him of arson.
Appearing before magistrate Moses Phiri was Joseph Mwale of Nzemakazi village in chief Mishoro’s area, who pleaded guilty to the charge while his co-accused Mathews Phiri of Kapeta village in the same chiefdom, denied the charge.
It is alleged that the duo on October 23, 2017, in Chipata, jointly and whilst acting together had in their possession a live pangolin without a certificate of ownership from the Director of National Parks and Wildlife, as required by law.
In mitigation, Mwale said he was aware that he was wrong and asked the court to exercise leniency on him.
He said he had sores in the chest and that he was alone at home.
Mwale applied for bail instead of mitigating but the court told him that it was too late for him to ask for bail.
Magistrate Phiri said he heard Mwale’s mitigation that he was the first offender who deserved the court’s leniency.
He said the case that Mwale committed had a mandatory sentence and that he could not go against it.
Magistrate Phiri jailed Mwale five years effective the date of arrest before adjourning the matter of his co-accused to November 2017.
He also committed Charles Miti of Mtenguleni village to the High Court for sentencing after convicting him of arson.
Facts of the matter were that Miti burnt the house of Michael Tembo on October 15, 2017 thereby destroying property worthy K2,775.
Particulars of the matter were that on the material day, Miti and the complainant were drinking beer together and later quarrelled over the bricks they said were not properly shared.
After the quarrel, a fight ensued and members of the public separated them.
A few minutes after the accused had disappeared, the complainant saw smoke at his house and when he rushed there, he was told the house was set ablaze by Miti.
Miti was apprehended and taken to Madzimoyo police post before he was taken to Chipata Central police station.
Magistrate Phiri committed the matter to High Court for sentencing because the court had no jurisdiction over the matter whose mandatory
sentence was ten years.
In a related development, a resident of Chipata’s Mthilansembe area, who was charged with assault, was yesterday discharged after the prosecution
decided to discontinue the case against him.
Magistrate Philip Mpundu discharged Charles Nyumba after the state indicated that it was finding it difficult to locate the complainant, Mabvuto Jere.
After being released, Nyumba started walking towards the court’s holding cells but magistrate Mpundu told him to go home and walk properly as opposed to rushing.