Mangochi First Grade Magistrate Court on Tuesday ordered seven drivers to pay K200, 000 fine each or in default serve three years imprisonment with hard labour for careless driving.
The offence of intentionally endangering the safety of persons travelling on a public road contravenes with section 237 of the penal code.
Before passing the sentence, First Grade Magistrate Ronald M’bwana observed that road accidents were rampant in the district claiming a lot of people’s lives who could have contributed to the development of the country.
“It is sad that our roads have suddenly turned into death traps where innocent souls are being lost,” he lamented.
M’bwana said the court arrived at the punishment which would serve as food for thought to stop people from indulging in the practice and at the same time deter other would be drivers from committing similar acts.
Mangochi Police Station Prosecution Officer, Efford Kamphonje told the court that on December 30 last year, police arrested the seven drivers at Maldeco Trading Centre along the Mangochi – Monkey Bay road driving open vehicles with several passengers on board.
“Your worship, road traffic police officers while conducting their routine activities at Maldeco Trading Centre arrested the convicts who were driving open vehicles while carrying people on board which is an offence,” He told the court.
Kamphonje, therefore, asked the court to hand out a stiff punishment to the culprits which would act as a control measure to the increasing road accidents in Mangochi, which he described as worrisome.
All the convicts who come from different villages in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mponda pleaded guilty to the charge and admitted the offence of intentionally endangering the safety of persons travelling on a public road.
However, in mitigation, all the seven convicts asked for clemency claiming to be bread – winners of their families and keeping them in custody would make their dependents suffer.