First grade magistrate Asunta Muwalo has today given custodial sentences to musician Andison Alfred Chipwaila also known as Mesho and music producer Stephano Emmanuel for their respective roles in the making of the now banned song Mizikiti Ichoke.
Chipwaila, who is the composer of the song, has been handed a two-year sentence for intimidation which is contrary to Section 88(1) (b) of the Penal Code and a further one year for writing words with intent to wound religious feelings contrary to Section 130 of the Penal Code.
Emmanuel, who was the second accused person in the case, has been penalised for his role in recording and releasing the song and has received one-year custodial sentences for each of the two counts.
In her ruling in Blantyre, Muwalo said mocking religion is the worst kind of mockery in the world and the actions of the two were damaging and sowed seeds of disharmony among Moslems and Adventists.
“This judgment has been arrived at having considered all factors which were presented before the court and also bearing in mind that the two are first offenders. But we have also considered the deterrent effect the sentence will have on would-be offenders,” she said.
The first count of intimidation carries a maximum of five years or a K50 000 fine while the second count of uttering words with intent to wound religious feelings is considered a misdemeanor and attracts a maximum of one year imprisonment.
The sentences for the two will run concurrently from the day of their arrest and they are free to appeal the verdict at the High Court if they are not satisfied with the said judgment.
Chipwaila, 29, comes from Binali Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Nkanda in Mulanje while Emmanuel, 25, comes from Samson Village, T/A M’biza in Zomba district.