Likoma Pharmacist pleads not guilty to drug-theft charge

A St. Peter’s Mission Hospital pharmacy attendant in Likoma, accused of drug theft, has pleaded not guilty to the charge on Monday when he appeared before the First Grade Magistrate Court in Nkhata Bay.

Police in Likoma arrested the 42 year old, Jacob Chasowa two weeks ago after receiving a tip from a well-wisher about a possible drug deal which was suspected to be taking place at the hospital.

State investigator, Sergeant Patrick Chelewuka, told the court that the accused was charged with theft by Public Servant, contrary to section 286 of the Penal Code.

“It was on the 8th of April [2017] when the police in Likoma received a tip that a drug deal was taking place. We started patrolling the beaches of Likoma,” said Sergeant Chelewuka, adding, the law enforcers apprehended a Mozambican, Banzolo Paliyani, who was about to board a boat to his home country-Mozambique.

“When we searched his bag, we found him in possession of 15 packets of LA, 85 tablets of Panado, 30 capsules of Chrolophenical drugs, and a bottle of Gentamicin.

“After being quizzed, he revealed that he bought the drugs from the accused [Chasowa] who worked at St. Peters Mission Hospital,” explained Chelewuka.

However, Chasowa pleaded not guilty to the charge, telling the court that the information presented was misleading.

First Grade Magistrate Maston Phiri has since adjourned the case to 22nd May, 2017, when the state is expected to parade witnesses.

Joseph Chasowa hails from Chamba Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mkumpha in Likoma.

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