Five sisters in Nkhotakota last week beat up a man who tried to stop them from raining blows on his mother in-law.
The five wanted to beat the man’s mother in-law for telling people that the sisters’ mother bewitched them and that is why they are not getting married.
Police identified the sisters as Bertha Ndalawezi, 18, Angela Ndalawezi, 26, Chotsadziwa Ndalawezi, 20, Nasibo Ndalawezi, 20, and Catherine Ndalawezi, 32, while the victim is Baswell Banda.
According to Nkhotakota Police spokesperson Williams Kaponda, the five were arrested on Thursday and charged with assault occasioning and actual bodily harm against section 254 of the penal code.
“The five during the night of 26 October went to the house of Banda’s mother in-law accusing her of spreading lies that their mother bewitched them hence they are not married.
“Banda tried to stop the five from beating his mother in-law but they mercilessly turned against him and grievously beat him,” said Kaponda.
Banda sustained serious injuries on his back and other parts of the body. Meanwhile, the Nkhotakota magistrate court has jailed three of the sisters to eighteen months imprisonment or to pay a fine of K60, 000 each for beating and wounding the man.
The three who have been convicted – Bertha, Angela, and Chotsadziwa – pleaded guilty to the charge while the other two – Nasibo and Catherine – denied the charge. Earlier, police prosecutor MacRhino Lungu pleaded for a stiffer punishment to send warning to would be suspects. “A stiff punishment is needed for the suspects.
Imagine the pains the complainant is going through. The suspects will learn how best to solve misunderstandings unlike the way they conducted themselves,” Lungu told the court.
First Grade Magistrate Fred Juma Chilowetsa presiding over the case concurred with the state prosecutor. Chilowetsa called Banda in front to show the court the wounds he sustained during the beating. He schooled the suspects to follow the right procedures to solve conflicts against taking the law in their hands. “You have parents, chiefs, and police among others who could have been of help unlike taking the law in your hands,” said Chilowetsa. He then sentenced the three namely Bertha, Angela, and Chotsadziwa to eighteen months imprisonment with hard labour or to pay a fine of K60, 000 each.
The magistrate said the fine should be paid within seven days if the three want to escape custodial sentence. According to Chilowetsa, all paid fines will be used as compensation to the victim. Just upon hearing the sentence, the court turned into a mourning room.
The three sisters cried uncontrollably and the court halted for few minutes to resume its operations. This sent irrepressible laughter to those who attended the court proceedings.
The three convicts and two suspects hail from Makuta village in the area of Traditional Authority Makuta in Nkhotakota district.