Man fined for Carrying Toy Gun in HRA Demos
Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, ordered James Hassan, 39, to pay a 50,000 Kwacha fine or 9 months’ imprisonment for being found in possession of a toy gun during demonstrations.
The court heard through Police Prosecutor Sergeant John Makawa, that on June 16, 2022, when Human Rights Ambassadors organized a peaceful demonstration within Mangochi township, Hassan was spotted by police officers carrying something like a gun.
Makawa said officers immediately arrested Hassan and confiscated the ‘gun’ which they discovered that it was a wooden toy gun and he was taken to the station after the demonstrations.
Appearing in court, the accused person pleaded guilty to the charge and in mitigation, asked the court to be lenient, saying that he did not know that by doing so it's against the law.
But prosecutor Makawa reminded the court that ignorance is not a defense and asked the court to give him stiff punishment for his conduct.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state hence the K50,000 fine, or in default, 9 months IHL to serve as a lesson to other would-be offenders.
James Hassan hails from Mwanyama village, Traditional Authority Mponda in the same district of Mangochi.