The Ntcheu Senior Resident Magistrate Court has convicted and fined a 43-year-old man one million Kwacha for stealing government medicines.
In default, the man would have to serve a three-year jail term.
Geoffrey Zamajaya was working as a volunteer at Kasinje Health Centre when the crime was committed.
“Police found him with 70 bottles of ARV tablets, 11 viral load HIV testing kits, 40 pieces of medical apron and one medical tape, all property of Malawi Government,” said Ntcheu police station spokesperson, Hastings Chigalu.
Zamajawa pleaded guilty to the charges.
In mitigation, Zamajaya pleaded with the court for leniency saying he was asthmatic, married with six children and he looked after three orphans.
But police prosecutor, Samie Liwonde, prayed for stiffer punishment citing the fact that the crime was committed at a time government hospitals lacked essential drugs.
Senior Resident Magistrate Yohane Munthali agreed with state saying the offence was serious and ordinarily attracts a maximum fine of 20 million Malawi Kwacha and 20 years imprisonment with hard labor.
Zamajaya hails from Kasinje village, Trading Authority Ganya in Ntcheu district.