By Lusekero Mhango
The Karonga First Grade Magistrate Court has convicted and sentenced Francis Nkhoma,54,to go and serve in prison with hard labour for the period of two (2) years for Assault Occasioning on Actual Bodily Harm.
According to Karonga police deputy public relations officer the court heard that on 18 December,2017 the convict lmobilized a group of people and assaulted Mrs Talina Gondwe due to land disputes.
“Nkhoma and his friends after assaulting went to Mrs Gondwe’s garden where they uprooted all the cultivated rice in that garden,” he said.
He said police prosecutor Sub Inspector Ephraim Njewa of Kaporo police post told the court that dispite the convict being the first offender,he committed felonious offences of Assault Occasioning on Actual bodily Harm and Malicious Damage which both attract the maximum penalty of Five (5) years imprisonment with hard labour.
He added, prosecutor Mjewa further said that the convict planned to commit the offences as the area is still facing challenges of land disputes between families from Chakwera and Mwaungulu villages where innocent people are being affected.
He then appealed ti the court to impose meaningfully sentence to Nkhoma so that others can get lessons which in turn will bring peace as well as security to the whole area.
In his mitigation Francis Nkhoma asked court to be lenient when passing sentence to him because of his big family responsibilities.
Passing his sentence, First Grade Magistrate Radson Gamaliere concurred with the state.
He said that mobilizing people to commit such offences shows bad citizenship therefore the convict is supposed to be sent to prison for the betterment of the innocent people and a lesson to those who may wish to commit similar offences as these cases are on increase in Karonga district more especially where the convict comes from.
Magistrate Gamaliere therefore ordered Nkhoma to go and serve inl prison with hard labour, 2 Years for the first count of Assault Occassioning on Actual Bodily Harm and 12 months for Malicious Damage contrary to sections 254 and 344(1) of the penal code respectively.
he sentences to run concurrently effect from the date of arrest .
Francis Nkhoma was arrested on 19l February, 2018 whilst his accomplices are at large and he comes from Mwaungulu village which is sharing boundary with Chakwera village where Talina Gondwe (the complainant) comes from.
Both villages are in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Kilupula in Karonga district.