A 33 year old man has been slapped with a K100, 000.00 fine or in default serve a sentence of two year Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) for being found in possession of medical drugs and medical supplies.
The man, identified as Rightwell Chabwera, who hails from Chevalizi Village in the area of Senior Chief Kanyenda in Nkhotakota was also charged with an offence of practicing as a medical practitioner without registration.
Chabwera appeared before Nkhunga First Grade Magistrate Court in Nkhotakota on Wednesday 27th January, 2016 following his arrest by Police Officers from Nkhunga Police Station had on Monday 25th January, 2016.
He pleaded guilty to all the two counts.
Being found in possession of medical drugs and medical supplies is illegal and contrary to section 35(1)(a) of the Pharmacy, Medicine and Poisons Board Act and Practicing as a medical practitioner without registration is contrary to section 59 (1)(a) of the Medical Practitioner and Dentists Act.
Police Prosecutor Sub-Inspector Sam Chinkombero of Nkhunga Police Station told the court that a team of police detectives led by Detective Stephan Malinda arrested the man after confiscating assorted medical drugs and supplies which were found in his house at Chigunda area in the area of Senior Chief Kanyenda in Nkhotakota.
The prosecutor said the police had received a tip from member of the general public who had complained after noticing that the man, who has no medical background, was administering medicine to member of the general public.
Some of the confisticated drugs that were also exhibited in the court included tablets, capsules, gentamycine tubes, injections, bottles, bandages, malaria and HIV testing kits, surgical blades, just to
mention a few.
Medical drugs and supplies, include panado, doxycycline, penicillin,quinine, flagyl and amoxylin.
The drugs are believed to have been stolen from government hospitals.
While passing the sentence, Magistrate Kingsley Buleya of Nkhunga FGM court said the conduct of the convict was deplorable due to the fact that it placed lives of the general public at risk.
He also noted that it is dangerous for a lay person to administer medicine and that Chabwera’s conduct is what has been fueling leakage of medicine and medical supplies at different health facilities in the country leading to drug shortages.
He therefore sentenced the man to pay a fine of fifty thousand kwacha (K50, 000.00) for each count in default to two years IHL.
The development comes weeks after Malawi President Peter Mutharika warned against stealing of drugs in government hospitals.
He also warned that anyone involved in illegal drug deals in public hospitals will be fired.
In Ntchisi, the Second Grade Magistrate’s Court has sentenced Peter Kanthemba, 31, to six years imprisonment with hard labour for burglary and theft.
Patrick Phambana, prosecuting, told the court last Friday, that on the night of September 11 2015, Kanthemba broke into the shop of Suzgo Chibwana at Bzyobzyo Village in the district where he stole seven bags of maize weighing 50 kilograms each, 30 empty sacks and one weighing scale, all valued at K46 000.
Kanthemba, who comes from Mndaya Village, Traditional Authority Nthondo in the district, pleaded guilty to the charge of burglary and theft.
Second Grade Magistrate Young Ng’oma said he meted out the sentence to deter would-be offenders.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :