Sumbawanga — THE Sumbawanga District Magistrate's Court has sentenced five residents from Ulinji Village to three years in jail for severely assaulting a fellow villager, Romanus Mwananzyungu (36), accusing him for being a thief.
The Court had, however, offered the convicts an option of paying 500, 000/- fines in place of jail sentences, but they all failed to raise the money. Passing the judgment, Magistrate Mr Manase Goroba said it had been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had committed the crime.
"Actually, the prosecution proved its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt, therefore, I sentence each of you to three years in jail," ruled Mr Goroba The five convicts are Alfred Emanuel Bilia (58), Anania Albano (25), Justin Marekani (33), Issac Alfred Bilia (23) and Shadrack Emanuel Bilia (40).
Prosecuting earlier, Assistant Inspector of Police, Mr Emanuel Shani charged before the court that the accused committed the crime on January 30 in 2011, at around 8 p. m. at Ulinji Village in Sumbawanga Municipality. "Although all the accused had no previous criminal records, I pray the court to pass severe sentences that will serve as a lesson to others," said the prosecutor.
It was alleged before the court that on that material night the accused, armed with crude weapons, attacked and caused bodily harm on their fellow villager, until he fainted. They were accusing him of stealing a plough.
"The five convicts, dumped Mwanazyungu beside the road thinking that they had killed him and fled from the scene," added the prosecutor. However, it was not yet clear if the convicts will appeal against the sentence and conviction.