A 21-year old man was arrested on Monday in Dedza after he hid smuggled goods within the premises of a mosque.
Police in the district have identified the suspect as Isimaila Muhammad.
According to Dedza Police deputy spokesperson Cassim Manda, the cross-border trader based at Linthipe 1 used to buy goods from Mozambique which he would then keep in the mosque premises.
He was trying to evade Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) officers.
However, he was spotted by some Muslims who felt that the tendency would tarnish the image of the mosque and the Islamic religion as a whole.
The concerned Muslims reported the matter to police who swiftly investigated the allegation against Muhammad.
On December 30, 2019 Muhammad came back to Dedza Boma with smuggled goods and as per his habit which is against teachings of Islam and leadership of the mosque which believes in rule of law, he decided to hide his goods again in Mosque premises.
However, he fell in the hands of police officers who arrested him.
He was then taken to Dedza police where he was charged with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of another person, through gesture or placing of any object in the sight of any other person Contravening section 130 of the penal code.
Muhammad, hails from Chiutsa village in the area of Traditional Authority Kaphuka in Dedza district.
The police have since hailed Muslims in Dedza for observing the rule of law and have assured all Muslims that all sacred places of worship (mosques) will be protected against anyone who will try to wound the feelings of Muslims.
The law enforcers have also hailed the cordial relationship between police and Muslims which has brought a pleasant working environment to the police.
In August this year, office of public relations from Dedza police went all over the district sensitising mohel (Ngaliba) to perform circumcision to only those who have intention of doing it.
No report of forceful circumcision was reported.
Few months ago, A Sultan Tambala, a Muslim chief issued the statement appreciating Dedza Police on how they are conducting their duties.
To have charged the suspect under S130 of the penal code is absurd, and shows how stupid the police are. The suspect had no deliberate intention of wounding anyone’s religious feels, but was hiding his contraband. I cannot see how he can be convicted in court of the alleged offence.
The full text of S130 is as follows:
“Any person who, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any other person, writes any word, or any person who, with the like intention, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of any other person or makes any gesture or places any object in the sight of any other person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be liable to imprisonment for one year.”
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