The Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate Court has sentenced a 22 year old man to one year imprisonment with hard labour for publicizing false news that he was sucked blood.
The convict Lloyd Tchale and his two relatives Linda Lloyd aged 17 and Ndiuzani Mkwapatira aged 26 who have also been sentenced to 12 months suspended sentence were arrested by Balaka Police.
Presenting facts before the Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate Court, State Prosecutor Senior Superintendent Dickens Mwambazi who is a Regional Prosecution Officer for the East told the court that Tchale on the night of 20th October, 2017 at Maduwani village, Traditional Authority Nkaya in Balaka district, claimed to have been sucked blood by unknown person.
The issue was reported to Balaka Police where he was referred to Balaka District Hospital for medical examination. Results from Balaka District Hospital proved that no blood was sucked from him as the blood level was normal.
Due to this false news, the community at Maduwani and the surrounding villages started sleeping outside for fear of blood suckers.
Mwambazi went on to inform the court that, on the same night of 20th October, 2017 at the same village of Maduwani, Lloyd Tchale’s relations Linda and Ndiuzani conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace by alleging that they had seen blood suckers in the village.
Upon investigations, it was established that the complaint was false and this led to their arrest for conducting themselves in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace.
In response to the accusations leveled against them, all the three pleaded not guilty to the charges a development that forced the state to parade three witnesses. In his judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Wyson Nkhata found all the three guilty after the state proved the cases beyond reasonable doubt and consequently convicted them.
In his submission before sentence, the State Prosecutor Senior Superintendent Dickens Mwambazi asked the court to consider giving the convicts stiffer sentences as blood sucking rumors are bringing unnecessary fear to the general public.
He said some services have been affected and innocent people have been murdered because of these false rumors hence the need to give offenders a stiffer sentence so that it should be a lesson to would be offenders.
In mitigation, the convicts pleaded for leniency saying that they are first offenders.
Passing sentence on Tuesday afternoon, Senior Resident Magistrate Wyson Nkhata concurred with the state and he therefore sentenced Lloyd Tchale to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour.
Masoamphambe also sentenced Linda Lloyd and Ndiuzani Mkwapatira to 6 months imprisonment with hard labour and later suspended it to 12 months.
Lloyd Tchale, Linda Lloyd and Ndiuzani Mkwapatira come from Maduwani village, in the area of Traditional Authority Nkaya in Balaka district.