12 September 2017

Malawi: 5 Bullets Fans On Bail, Accused of Smashing Wanderers Bus

Five supporters belonging to Nyasa Big Bullets that were arrested last Saturday in Lilongwe for smashing Be Forward Nissan Caravan team bus have been released on bail by the Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Lilongwe.

Wanderers team bus was smashed at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe soon after their Carlsberg Cup final which the People's Team won on post-match penalties, leading to the arrest of five suspects who were remanded at Kanengo Police Station.

The five supporters have been accused of malicious damage and unlawful wounding.

Police took the suspects to court on Monday September 11, 2017 to be formally charged.

They asked for bail saying they wanted to seek medical attention claiming to not to be fit and well.

But Prosecutor Robert Kufandiko argued that releasing the accused on bail will only defeat justice since the case is still being investigated as other suspects are still at large.

He further argued that the accused might escape bail citing a similar case which occurred on January 29, 2017.

However, Senior Resident Magistrate Chisomo Msokera, quashed the State's objections and went on granting the suspects bail bonded to K30, 000 cash each and asked the accused to report to Lingadzi police station on every Thursday.

The five are Benson Haji, 43, Gauti Phiri, 32, Gift Nazombe, 29, Godfrey Kumwembe and MacDonald Suwali.

Bullets main supporters committee chairperson Stone Mwamadi claimed that Wanderers players provoked the situation by dragging a People's Team fan into their bus when they were stoned and they started roughing him up.

Mwamadi claimed Bullets fans then started stoning the Wanderers team bus "to rescue their colleague."

But Wanderers chairperson Gift Mkandawire said Bullets cannot justify the "shameful act", saying "apart from the bus, they also smashed one of our trustees' vehicle which was parked far away from where the incident happened and we do not think this was a mere coincidence."

He said: "You wouldn't expect supporters of a team that won to behave in the manner they did. We expected them to celebrate with dignity."

Wanderers has said apart from the due process of the law in court against the five, the club will also take up the matter with the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).

The Nomads beat Bullets in a two-legged Luso TV Bus Ipite Bonanza to win the 26-seater bus early this year.

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