The Balaka Second Grade Magistrate court has ordered a 30-year old woman to pay a fine of K60,000 or serve a 2-months custodial sentence in default or for being found with Canabis Sativa which is commonly known as Indian hemp.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Getrude Chingolo Kafumbula told the court that the suspect Veronica Mwala was on 1st December last year at Chingeni road block found with two baskets containing Indian hemp weighing 62.5 kilograms which is contrary to regulation 19(1) as read with 4(a) of Dangerous Drug Act.
“The suspect was traveling in a motor vehicle registration number BP 1870 from Nkhotakota heading Blantyre, and upon being searched at Chingeni road block, it was discovered that the baskets that had dried fish on top contained Indian hemp,” Kafumbula told the court.
The suspect pleaded guilty to the offence and upon submission of the facts by the state, the court found her with the case to answer and consequently convicted her.
In her submission before sentence Kafumbula asked the court to consider giving the suspect a stiffer sentence saying that people like Veronica are the ones who are contributing to the bad behavior of the youths.
“Giving such people a stiffer sentence can be one way of protecting our children” Kafumbula said.
In her mitigation, the suspect Veronica Mwala asked for forgiveness saying she was doing this because of poverty and that she has five children to look after. She said the father of the children divorced her and she is the only parent who looks after them.
Passing judgment, Second Grade Magistrate Victor Sibu conquered with the state that people like Veronica are contributing to the bad behavior of the youths.
He said a lot of children are behaving strangely these days because of dangerous drugs like Indian hemp.
The Magistrate therefore said the suspect deserved a stiffer sentence and then ordered her to pay a fine of K60, 000.00 and in default serve a 2 months custodial sentence.