The Chikwawa First Grade Magistrate’s Court has ordered Pauline Litto to pay a fine of K250000 or serve a 14-month-jail-term in default for illegal possessing of medical drugs.
Litto, 42, was on Friday found guilty of the offence which is contrary to Section 35(2) as read with Section 65 of Pharmacy, Medicine and Poisons Act.
On 7 December, 2017, Litto was found with assorted drugs in her house at Sande Village in the area of Traditional Authority Maseya in the district.
“Following a tip-off, police busted on the accused’s house and seized assorted drugs which, among others, include 821 sachets of LA, 31 tubes of tetracycline and 1 bottle of prazequantel,” Police Prosecutor, Sergeant George Hussein, told the court.
In her mitigation, Litto pleaded with the court to give her a lenient sentence, saying she had orphans to look after and that her husband had abandoned her at the time she was arrested.
Prosecutor Hussein, however, asked the court to consider handing Litto a stiffer sentence, arguing the offence she committed was a serious one; and that she had denied fellow citizens a right to quality life since she was holding drugs meant for poor Malawians.
In his ruling, First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chilundu concurred with the state and further bemoaned drug pilferage in the country’s public hospitals.
He went ahead sentencing the accused to pay a fine of K250,000 or in default serve 14 months imprisonment with hard labour but she has paid the fine.