20 Fined for Failing to Wear Face Masks
A Senior Resident Magistrate's Court in Mangochi on Monday ordered 2 people to pay a K9, 000 fine each and 18 others to pay K5, 000 each for failing to wear face masks.
State Prosecutor, Sub–Inspector Emmanuel Kambwiri, told the court that police officers on Monday, January 25, 2021, who were on an enforcement operation, arrested the 20 for being found walking within Mangochi town without wearing face mask.
According to Kambwiri, the people acted in contrary to Section 20 (3) of Public Health Act (Corona virus and Covid-19 prevention rules and regulations of 2020).
All the suspects, 14 men and 6 women, pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against them, prompting the court to find them guilty.
In mitigation, the convicts asked the court for forgiveness, saying they cannot afford to pay fine, but the state prayed for stiff sentence to deter others due to the rise of local transmission of the pandemic in the country, Mangochi in particular.
Passing sentence, Senior resident magistrate, Joshua Nkhono, concurred with the state saying despite government's efforts to protect its citizens from the pandemic some have chosen deliberately not to comply.
Nkhono then fined the convicts or in default spend 1 month In prison with hard labor to deter others.