The Balaka First Grade Magistrate has ordered a 42 year old man to pay a fine of K102, 500.00 or in default serve 12 months imprisonment with hard labour for causing death by reckless driving.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Hunter Masamba told the court that the suspect Francis Mzunga hit a 20 year old pedestrian Shaibu Rabson along Balaka – Chingeni road due to reckless or negligent driving which is contrary to section 126 of Road Traffic Act.
”Due to the accident, the victim sustained severe head injuries and was admitted to Zomba Central Hospital where he was discharged but died two months later at Balaka District Hospital while receiving treatment.”
The suspect pleaded guilty to the charge before the Balaka First Grade Magistrate Court and upon submission of the facts by the state the court found the accused guilty and consequently convicted him.
And in his submission before sentence, Sergeant Masamba asked the court to consider giving the suspect a stiffer sentence considering the increase of road accidents in the country.
First Grade Magistrate Damson Banda conquered with the state that the country is losing a lot of people due to road accidents caused by reckless or negligent driving by drivers like Francis Mzunga.
But considering the fact that he is a first offender as said by the state, and that he pleaded guilty to the charge, Banda ordered him to pay a fine of K102, 500.00 out of which K90, 000.00 will be compensation to the bereaved family and the rest will be for administrative costs; and in default serve 12 months imprisonment with hard labour. Meanwhile, the suspect has paid the fine.
Both the deceased Shaibu Rabson and the suspect Francis Mzunga come from Mponda village, in the area of Senior Chief Nsamala in the same district of Balaka.
But a member of the deceased family said the fine is “just a bad joke.”
He added: “It is an absolute insult. This case sends out completely the wrong signals to drivers.”