The magistrate court in Dedza district has handed out two-year jail terms to 19 people for being involved in an act of mob justice.
The thugs were arrested last week for demolishing the house of a member of their community.
According to Dedza police deputy publicist Cassim Manda, on 4th July the gang of 19 suspects went to the house of Issa Salati at around 2am in order to deal with him.
The villagers suspected Salati of being a thief hence they decided to take the matter into their own hands.
At the house they found Salati’s wife and daughter since the man had gone to his second wife’s house in another village.
The villagers however began demolishing Salati’s house.
Even though the woman pleaded with the criminals to allow her remove her property, the gang ignored her request and demolished the whole house.
According to Manda, the thugs have already been taken to court and first grade magistrate Ennete Banda found them guilty of malicious damage and sentenced them to pay a fine of K50,000 each or in default to serve two years in jail.
If the suspects pay the money it will be used as compensation to the victims to build another house as they are destitute.
But Manda said none of the convicts has paid the fine and all of them are still in custody. Manda however commended the court for passing a stiffer sentence.
“Let me thank our state prosecutor assistant superintendent Chambuluka for this recommendable job, that is what we were anticipating , people should learn to be in line with law any time when they are making decisions, no law in Malawi allow someone to demolish the house of person suspected of committing an offence, that is not fair trial,” said Manda.
He identified the suspects as Yohane Kosam, 31, Ganizani Staniel, 23, Emmanuel Brighton, 27, Madula Vesoni, 36, Hardwell Jeseni, 40.
Joseph Cotton, 23, Mike Chitenje, 21, Dziyere Daniel, 19, Binat Vickson, 20, Chaima Tenifolo, 23, Layton Siyono, 18.
Kennedy Luwiza 31, Stanford Nolice, 18, Yobe James, 27, Lovet Jamiton, 21, Chaluza Meyson, 41.
Yobe Chiyipila, 32, Jusabu Vasco, 18, and Ford Lingiliro, 19.
All 19 suspects are from Guliguli village in the area of Traditional Authority Kachere in Dedza.