Killer taxi driver fined K80,000 to avoid jail in Malawi

A Magistrate Court in the northern city of Mzuzu has ordered a man convicted with causing death by dangerous driving to pay K80,000 or face a eight months jail sentence with hard labour.

Hestings Mwayisangu, 30, was in court for causing the death of Cobby Nyirenda of Zangunya village , T/A Wasambo in Karonga District, by reckless driving on 23 January.

Northern Region police prosecutor, Superintendent Christopher Katani beamoned the increase of road accidents in the country, Northern region in particular.

He observed that most of them are due to reckless driving.justice

Katani  further  told the court  that such offences are very serious since they are claiming lives of many people.

He then pleaded with the court to mete out a stiffer sentence which would send signal to drivers who drive recklessly on the roads of Malawi .

Kaitano revealed that there are many cases  of this nature awaiting prosecution and that some were sent to Director for Public Prosecution for legal opinion.

During Mitigation the convict, through his Legal Aid attorney Watson Chirwa, asked the court to exercise leniency in sentencing him, saying he was a first offender and is married hence holds whole responsibility of his family.

Chief Resident Magistrate Austin Banda concurred with the State that such cases are on the rampant in the region.

He said that causing death by reckless driving contrary to section 126(4) as read with section 136 of the road traffic act is a serious offence which attracts a maximum sentence of K600,000 fine or in default being jailed for 3 years with hard labour .

The Magistrate then ordered the convict to pay K80,0000 fine failing which, he will have to serve a custodial sentence  for eight months.

He further ordered that K30, 000 of the money be given to family members of the deceased as compensation.

The convict who hails from Chifikisira village in the area Traditional Authority Kyungu in Karonga District had not paid the fine by Thursday and remained in custody.

Meanwhile, motorists are being called upon to comply to road signs and drive at a recommended speed limit, according to Mzuzu Police spokesman Maurice Chapola.

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