The Blantyre Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday found two Blantyre City Council (BCC) rangers being accused of unlawful wounding a vendor with a case to answer. The court has since adjourned hearing of the case to November 28.
The two BCC rangers are Innocent Maluwa (25) from Mpondasi Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mponda in Mangochi and Macford Majonga (30) from Changunda Village, T/A Changata in Thyolo whereas the vendor who took them to court is Robert Moyo (31) from Makoka Village, T/A Chigalu in Blantyre.
Resident Magistrate Ibrahim Hussein made the ruling after analysing evidence provided by 7 witnesses who were paraded during previous hearings to prove the case. However, Hussein said it is in the two ranger’s liberty to call their witnesses, choose to remain silent or enter defence themselves.
“The court heard from the complainant that he was wounded and treated at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH). This was ascertained by one of the witnesses and also a medical report which was presented in court. The complainant also identified the two accused persons and said they were at the scene of the incident,” said Hussein.
Moyo, a newspaper vendor, was allegedly assaulted by BCC rangers and had his three teeth removed in the process of the assault.
According to him, he was assaulted when the city rangers wanted to apprehend him on the ground that he was illegally trading outside Malswitch premises in Blantyre [National Bank Victoria Avenue].
“The incident happened when I was waiting for a certain madam from Malswitch in order to help her load goods in her vehicle. In no time I saw a patrol vehicle approaching and eight men who I later realised were rangers pounced on me. It was two police officers who were in the same vehicle who came to my rescue,” said Moyo in an interview.
Moyo was later taken to a police cell where he was later released at the intervention of the Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (Chreaa).