Mangochi Police Station Prosecution Officer, inspector Amos Mwase, told the court that Police detectives in the district on September 8, 2021 were tipped off by members of the community that the four were transporting the illicit drug from Nkhotakota to Balaka through Mangochi.
Mwase said following the tip, the four were intercepted at Maloya village along Chilipa-Balaka road in Mangochi traveling in a white Toyota Sienta registration number NN7778.
“Police found 24 bags weighing 50kgs each, containing Indian hemp loaded in the motor vehicle without permit, so they were arrested and their motor vehicle impounded,” said Mwale.
Appearing in court, all the four accused persons pleaded guilty to the charge and as part of mitigation asked for leniency, saying that they are bread winners to their families.
However, prosecutor Mwase reminded the court that a lot of youth are facing mental problems due to the illicit drug and the government is wasting a lot of money for their treatment hence pleaded for a stiffer sentence.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state and sentenced each of them to 5-years imprisonment with hard labour, ordered forfeiture of all bags and the vehicle to Malawi government.
The convicts Jafali Phiri, 34 and Jussab Masha, 21, hail from Balaka district, Andrew Banda, 21 hails from Salima while Petro Davie, 24 hails from Dedza.