The Second Grade Magistrate’s Court at Bolero on Wednesday sentenced Never Nyirenda, 22, to two and a half years imprisonment with hard labour for arson.
Rumphi Police Station spokesperson Sergeant Tupeliwe Kabwilo said the offence occurred on June 22, 2022 at Ganje area in Rumphi District contravening section 337(a) of the penal code.
The court through State Prosecutor Sergeant Fatsani Mbuna heard that Nyirenda quarreled with his wife forcing her to leave him and go to her parents’ house.
Prior to the incident, the wife together with her mother and other relatives were chatting inside another house.
Whilst there, at around 19:00 hours, they saw Nyirenda setting ablaze their house with a blazing bunch of grass in his hand.
They shouted for help and partially managed to rescue some properties.
The matter was later reported at Chinyolo Police Unit where the suspect was arrested and charged with the offence.
During court proceedings, Nyirenda denied the charge and this prompted the state to parade three witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and was found guilty and convicted.
In his mitigation, he prayed for court leniency stating he is a first offender.
In his submission, Mbuna told the court that the offence committed is serious.
“Setting fire to a building during night was a dangerous act since by doing so it put many lives in danger,” Mbuna said.
He therefore prayed for a severe punishment despite being the first offender.
Passing sentence, Second Grade Magistrate Chikumbutso Kachipande concurred with the state submission and slapped the convict with two and a half years imprisonment with hard labour.
Never Nyirenda comes from Mtaja Village, Traditional Authority Chisovya in Rumphi District