Chikwawa Second Grade Magistrate’s Court on Thursday fined Mpokonyola Green Eagles’ four players K40,000 each or in default serve 12 months imprisonment with hard labour for assaulting their rivals, Mpokonyola Young Strikers’ assistant coach and two footballers.
The Mpokonyola players assaulted their counterparts in February following disagreements that ensued over a training pitch, which the two non-league teams share.
Chikwawa Police spokesperson, Foster Benjamin, said the sentence came barely a day after the same court fined Mpokonyola fan, Sinalesi Mkamwa, K30,000 for inciting the violence.
He said the court, through state prosecutor George Hussein, heard that the players namely Kalonga Luwani, 31, Bendro Scova, 34, Samson Duncan, 19, and Maloya Luwani, 20, were charged with assault.
“The players denied the charge, which prompted the state to parade five witnesses, leading to their convictions. The state prosecutor asked the court to impose stiff sentences to the convicts despite being first offenders.
“The state prosecutor further told the court that the convicts demonstrated unsportsmanship conduct by preventing others from using the pitch which belonged to the community,” Benjamin said.
Passing the sentence, Second Grade Magistrate, Joram Zebron, agreed with the state, saying denying Mpokonyola access to the pitch was violating their rights and fined the four players and K70,000 will be given to the victims as compensation.
The convicts come from Mpokonyola Village in Traditional Authority Katunga in the district.
The two teams, which were once one, have been at loggerheads over the usage of the pitch, with traditional leaders and the district council coming up with a training schedule for each side.
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