Nkhotakota First Grade Magistrate (FGM) court on Tuesday, Octobr 11, 2016, sentenced three drivers to 14 months imprisonment for endangering persons life to curb the increasing road accidents in the district.
The three convicts are identified as Bakali Chapola, 28, and Joseph Chakanyuka, 30, from Mtagha and Phangwa villages both from the area of Senior Chief Malengachanzi while Emanuel Matumba, 26, is from Bango village in the area of Senior Chief Mwadzama, all from Nkhotakota district.
The three convicts were arrested around Nkhotakota trading centre on Monday October 10, 2016 after they were found carrying passengers locally known as matola on open motor vehicles which is contrary to section 237 (E) of the penal code.
The court through the state prosecutor assistant superintendent MacRhino Lungu heard that the three were arrested by the traffic police officers while doing their motor vehicle routine checks.
Before passing the sentence, in mitigation, all suspects asked for lenient sentence as they were the first offenders and have family responsibilities.
In contrary, the magistrate FMG Fred Juma Chilowetsa said the case they were answering was serious in nature as it attracts life imprisonment . He further noted the increased accident cases which are becoming worrisome in the country.
“We have recently lost many souls due to drivers who don’t care about people’s lives but rather money”, said magistrate Fred Juma.
He added, “it is on record that in Nkhotakota alone as of September this year we have registered about 37 accidents and I will therefore consider your remorsefulness and self guilty plea but not other reasons you mitigated”.
He went on and sentenced them to 14 months imprisonment with hard labour starting from the day of the arrest.
Nkhotakota Station Traffic Officer (STO) inspector Mathambeka Golozera was satisfied with the sentence and said other drivers should learn from it.