The Chipata Magistrate Court has fined Patriotic Front PF Vubwi district chairperson, Michael Tembo twelve thousand Kwacha for two counts of assault involving two Chipata based journalists.
This is in a matter in which, Peter Sukwa of the Post Newspapers and Kelvin Phiri from Feel Free Radio Station were on December 10th 2015 assaulted by Tembo.
The incident happened when the two journalists were verifying reports on Malawians who were getting Zambian NRC, National Registration Cards in Vubwi district.
Magistrate Moses Phiri ordered Tembo to pay ten thousand Kwacha to the two journalists for assaulting them and two thousand Kwacha to the state for the two counts of assault or save nine months jail sentence in default.
In passing judgement, Magistrate Phiri said that there was no dispute that the two journalists were assaulted on the 10th of December 2015, whilst on duty in Vubwi and found Tembo guilty of the offence of assault occasioning bodily harm.
In Mitigation, Tembo pleaded with the court to exercise maximum lenience on him as he was a first offender, married with three kids and taking care of eight orphans and his sick mother whom he said may die of High Blood Pressure if he was jailed.
But Magistrate Phiri said that he had taken note of Tembo’s mitigation but that he would have thought of his family before committing the offence adding that being a leader of the ruling party, he needed to be a good example by refraining from violence.
He said that Tembo’s behaviour was denting the image of the ruling party and sentenced him accordingly to deter others from behaving in the same manner.