The Blantyre Magistrate’s Court has sentenced one more bogus ‘Doctor Wongani Kumbukani Kandulu’ to six years Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL).
The sentence comes barely two weeks after another, illegally using the name Dr Zizwani Mwafulirwa’s but his real name is John Ben Kamanga, was also given similar custodial sentence by the same court.
Both bogus doctors were arrested at Blantyre’s Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) where they were reportedly pretending to work as medical doctors.
On Tuesday, Senior First Grade Magistrate Innocent Nebi found the accused guilty of two counts of impersonating a public officer contrary to 99 (b) of the penal code and impersonating a registered doctor contrary to section 66 of the medical practitioners act.
Police Prosecutor Sub Inspector Dingiswayo Mbepula asked the court to give the accused a lengthy custodial sentence because of the nature and seriousness of the offence which involved human lives.
In mitigation, Kandulu asked the court for leniency claiming he was a student at Blantyre Secondary School (BSS) and would be writing his form four exams this year.
He also said he was an orphan, suffers from heart complications, has a young child to look after and is the bread winner for his family.
But passing his judgment yesterday, Nebi said the convict’s actions posed a serious danger to the lives of people and needed to be given a stiff custodial sentence to deter others from committing similar offences.
He then sentenced Kandulu to six years imprisonment with hard labour for the first count and fined him K30 000 or serve a four-month jail term. He failed to pay the K30 000. The two sentences will run concurrently.
Upon his arrest on 27th October last year, Kandulu had allegedly discharged about 10 patients, according to eye witnesses, though hospital authorities dismissed the report.
When she delivered her ruling to Kamanga two weeks ago, First Grade Magistrate Diana Kamangala Mangwana attacked the medical fraternity as she questioned QECH management for failing to tighten its security so much that such a person could pose as a medical doctor.
“If such a person can just go and pretend to be a doctor it means there is gross negligence and this leaves a lot to be desired. This has to be a wakeup call to avoid repetition of the same,” Mangwana noted while also questioning the seriousness of Medical Council of Malawi.