According to the court, Lazaro’s acts contravened regulation 3(2) (b) as read with regulation 8(a) of smallholder agricultural produce (marketing) chapter 65:05 of laws of Malawi.
The court heard through state prosecutor, Police assistant superintendent Davie Banda, that on May 5, 2021 at Koche road block, along Mangochi-Monkey bay road, Lazaro was found with 300 bags of maize, each weighing 50kgs.
Banda, said the maize believed to have been bought from smallholder farmers without license was being transported in Scania lorry registration number BU 7954.
Appearing in court, Lazaro, pleaded guilty to charges leveled against him and was found guilty upon his own plea of guilty.
In mitigation, he asked the court to be lenient, as he used borrowed money to purchase the maize.
In submission the state pleaded for stiff sentence citing Lazaro, knowingly purchased the maize for sale without permits.
Passing his sentence, first grade magistrate Mtunduwatha Mpasu, concurred with the state and ordered him to pay K500,000.00 fine in default 12 months’ imprisonment with hard labour.
Lazaro who hails from Manjalende Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mkhumba in Phalombe district has since paid the fine.