Court fines driver K86, 000 fines for causing death

A Magistrate’s court in Mangochi has ordered Ibra Mambulu, 20, to pay a fine of K86, 000 or in default serve a custodial punishment of 48 months for causing death by driving recklessly.

The court heard that the accused person committed the offence on July 4, last year when he was driving a motor vehicle registration number NU 4718 from Mangochi to Monkey Bay.

The court further learnt that upon arrival at Soko Bus Depot, the accused found a stationary vehicle and as he passed by the car he went off his lane and in the process collided into another oncoming vehicle registration number YGL 807 GP which was being driven by Mathanjesi Nyalugwe.

Police Prosecution witness, Maxwell Mwaluka told the court that after seeing that there was yet another car coming from the opposite direction the accused drove to the farthest offside lane where he hit a seven- year- old pedestrian.

“Later on, the driver of the other stationary vehicle went back to his near side lane where he collided with a Hyundai pickup and hooked some passengers who were near the side view mirror,” Mwaluka told the court.

“The passengers fell down and were run over by a wayward car during the pile up,” he added.

It was also learnt in court that following the impact, Mavuto Mkupera and unidentified woman died on the spot and two others died at Mangochi District Hospital due to head injuries they suffered in the accident.

Plea, mitigation, sentence

Mambulu pleaded guilty and admitted to the offences of causing death by reckless driving, driving without driver’s licence and driving without an insurance policy cover. All the offences contravene sections 126 (4) (c), 18 and 151 respectively of the Road Traffic Act.

In mitigation, Mambulu who comes from Mgundaphiri village in the area of Traditional Authority Mponda in the district asked the court to exercise leniency when passing its sentence on the basis that he has a family and ageing parents who look up to him for support. He has since paid the fine.

But Presiding First Grade Magistrate, Jack Njikho dismissed Mambulu’s argument saying the court in  Mangochi in particular was overwhelmed with the unprecedented rise of road accidents where innocent people continue to lose their lives.

“Of late, the court has registered a sharp increase in the number of cases involving road accidents where unfortunately lives have been lost. It is the duty of the courts, therefore, to bring back sanity to reckless drivers by imposing meaningful sentences.

“This court finds you and convicts you of the offences as read in the charge. It further orders the convict to pay a fine of K86, 000 or failing to do so, serve 48 months IHL in all counts,” Njikho pronounced.

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