Blantyre Magistrate’s Senior Resident Magistrate Akya Mwanyongo has convicted six people involved in the Kamuzu Stadium gate fraud after they were arrested on April 16 during the TNM Super League match between Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Sable Farming.
The four gate cashiers are Chiyembekezo Buffalo, (22), Tingo Fungulani (22), Prince Ndalama (19) and Gladys Meja (23). The other two are Laston Theu (27) and Wyson Chingana (35), directors of Unity Gate Management System, a firm hired to collect money at the gates during the match.
Passing judgement, the magistrate fined each of them K150,000, or they could go to jail for a year if they fail to pay.
Mwanyongo also ordered the four cashiers to pay Sulom back the money they stole.
He also said that the convicts should not be allowed to work as gate managers while they are serving their sentences.
Prince Ndalama will pay Sulom K220,000, Gladys Meja K48,000, Tingo Fungulani K178,000 and Chiyembekezo Buffalo K8,000.
The six were caught after stealing K437,000 from a match between Mighty Wanderers FC and Sable Farming.
Their arrest was welcomed by stakeholders, especially clubs and Sulom which have been complaining of collecting less than the turn out of the crowd.
However analysts have faulted the judgment, saying they expected a stiff penalty to act as a deterrent to others.
Writing on his Facebook Page a soccer fan only known as Mat So, said the judgment was fair as there are big shots behind this syndicate.
Thanks Magistrate Mwanyongo because punishing these people could have been very hash when the real culprits are safe in their houses,” he said.