LILONGWE—Members of opposition Malawi Congress Party found guilty of assault and property damage have been spared jail and ordered to pay fines by the Lilongwe Magistrates Courts.
Portipher Chidaya, the party’s administrative secretary, and William Phakamisa, a chauffeur of party president John Tembo were told to pay fines totaling K120,000 after they were found guilty on assaulting fellow party members for calling for Tembo’s ouster after the party’s crushing defeat in the 2009 general elections.
Other party members also convicted on similar charges were Patrick Moyo, Grace Masamba and Polipher Kachitsa. They each ordered to pay K20, 000.
Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Cecilia Onsewa said she’d taken into consideration their ages and that they didn’t have previous criminal records.
Masamba is 75 years old; Chidaya is 68 while Phakamisa is 58.
After sentencing, Chidaya maintained his innocence, telling MaraPost he didn’t touch anybody. The others refused to comment.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.