The Mzuzu Senior Resident Magistrate Court has ordered 14 Bicycle Tax Operators in Mzuzu to pay a fine of K100,000 each or serve three years Imprisonment with Hard Labor (IHL) for burning a motor cycle belonging to their colleague.
The 14 convicts burnt the bicycle Registration Number BS 7252 valued at K1.3 million belonging to Chairperson of Mzuzu Bicycle Tax Operators of Mzuzu Kabaza Operators Association, Joseph Sitima.
Mzuzu Police Publicist, Martin Bwanali said the convicts committed the offence as part of their reaction of discomfort to Sitima’s involvement in police operations against irresponsible motor cyclists in Mzuzu City.
“The court heard that in 2015 Mzuzu Police Station was overwhelmed with the upsurge of traffic accidents involving Kabaza operators and to avoid such accidents police took a step by allocating all Kabaza Operators to designed points which gave birth to an operation to ensure its enforcement,” said Bwanali.
It is reported that the convicts were not happy with such operation blaming the Kabaza leader at hand for siding with police.
“On 8th February, 2016 the leadership of Kabaza Association were invited to a meeting at Police station and Joseph Sitima being the chair also attended the meeting; and before attending to the meeting he left his motorcycle which was later unlawfully burnt to ashes,” explained the Mzuzu Police Publicist.
The scenario forced the law to act though they pleaded not guilty to the charge of Malicious Damage but they were later convicted for the offence and sentenced to pay K100 000 each (K1.4 million for the 14) or in default serve 3 years Imprisonment with Hard labor.
Meanwhile police in the city say the operation has proved successful with few or no accidents involving these Kabaza operators reported recently.