A court in Rumphi has sentenced a 34-year-old messenger to 18 months in prison over the fire that destroyed Rumphi Education office last month.
The messenger Vitumbiko Khowani Manda, 34, was sentenced on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.
On 23 August fire hit the education office and the messenger was later arrested and charged for neglect of official duties.
According to Station Officer for Rumphi Police, Chrispin Zintambila, the convict identified as Vitumbiko Khowani Manda, 34, was sentenced on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.
Rumphi Police Prosecutor, Kelvin Ng’ambi said investigations established that on the day of the fire the messenger had actually released the security guard to have supper and this left the office unattended.
“The messenger said he would cover for the guard until he was back. But, he (messenger) also left the office unattended and later fire gutted it while he was away. By the time he came back the fire was already out of control,” he said.
First Grade Magistrate Cuthbert Phiri, after hearing the evidence tendered before the court, convicted Manda and sentenced him.
Manda hails from Yohane Village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mzukuzuku in Mzimba District.
The fire destroyed files, computers and K5.8 million cash which was stored in the office