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FIFTEEN students and one man convicted for criminal nuisance after pleading guilty to conducting a midday party were on Friday slapped with suspended prison sentences.
The students were caught partying and playing loud music at a named house in Westgate, Harare two months ago.
Initial reports claimed the students were partying naked.
Prosecutor Patience Chimusaru said although 15 of them were college students and were first offenders who did not waste court’s time, they had to be punished to deter other potential offenders.
However, during their trial it emerged that some of them were scantily clad and not naked.
Magistrate Themba Mtetwa said the fifteen were a disappointment to their parents.
Mtetwa said it was important that they concentrate on their studies than rather pursuing unruly life.
“Peer pressure will not take you anywhere,” said the magistrate.
“You are young and have a precious life to safe guard. Remember you only live once. Life is too short to waste it on bad habits. You must reform because you are making it hard for your parents.
“Even if I was going to fine you, they are the ones who would suffer as they have to pay that money for you so go and focus on school work.”
He also considered that all were first offenders who quickly pleaded guilty to the charges.
Magistrate Mtetwa also said another option would have been to have the offenders do community service, failing which they would be jailed.
In the end, he gave them a wholly suspended three months imprisonment sentence.
The sentence was suspended for five years on good behaviour.
The 15 were represented by Samuel Banda of J Mambara and Partners practitioners. source-newzimbabwe