Malawi Congress Party administrative secretary Portipher Chidaya and party President John Temboâ€™s long -time driver, William Phakamisa, on Friday escaped a jail sentence when the Lilongwe Magistrateâ€™s Court imposed fines totalling K120 000 (about $480).
The two, who were found guilty on three different counts, were convicted alongside Patrick Moyo, Grace Masamba and Polipher Kachitsa following their arrest on July 1 2009 after fracas at the MCP headquarters. The fracas ensued after Task Force for Leadership Change organised a demonstration to force Tembo to resign.
First grade magistrate Cecilia Onsewa said she considered the convictsâ€™ advanced ages and that they were first offenders apart from the fact that the damages and injuries were not serious. Chidaya is 68 whereas Phakamisa is 58 and Masamba, the only female convict in the group, is 75 years old.
Chidaya, Phakamisa and Moyo were fined K20 000 (about $80) each for unlawful wounding of Lilongwe North MP Titus Malipa which they paid on the same day.
Phakamisa and Kachitsa, convicted of malicious damage to Dowa West MP Abele Kayembe, were each fined K20 000 ($80).
Masamba and Moyo, who were found guilty of assault causing bodily harm, were each fined K10 000 (about $40).
A visibly relieved Chidaya said his conscience is free as he never lifted a hand to beat anybody during the fracas, but went to save those that were being attacked.
Malipa and Kayembe were part of the task force led by the late Ishamael Chafukira that led to temporary removal of Tembo as a leader of opposition, but later disbanded with Malipa returning to the party while Kayembe first moved to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) before joining the ruling Peoples Party (PP).