Chikwawa First Grade Magistrate’s Court has ordered a 30-year old tavern owner to pay a K 35,000 fine or serve 12 months in prison for playing loud music.
According to Chikwawa police publicist, Sergeant Foster Benjamin, the convict has been identified as Mary Mwaipape.
Benjamin said police arrested the woman in the wee hours of Wednesday and charged her with common nuisance.
In court, the state Prosecutor Sub Inspector Danford Otala told the court that Mwaipape’s business has been disturbing residents around Chikwawa boma as loud music at the tavern is played early in the morning every day.
“People around the tavern, including those in Mbenderana village, have long been complaining about the conduct of the business of the accused. While it is her right to do business, but she may not do so to the extent of infringing on the right of others; hence the need to give her a meaningful sentence,” explained Otala.
Mwaipape pleaded guilty and was then convicted of common nuisance contrary to Section 168 of the Penal code.
She however, asked the court to forgive her since she didn’t know that playing loud music at odd hours was a crime.First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu said the convict’s business did not only cause anguish to residents but also to patients at Chikwawa District Hospital hence need for a stiffer punishment.
Chilundu ordered Mwaipape to pay a fine of K35,000 or in default serve 12 months in prison and said the sentence should send a strong message to other tavern owners in the area who operate their businesses at the expense of others.
Mwaipape, who comes from Mbenderana village under Traditional Authority Kasisi in Chikwawa District, has since paid the fine to escape jail term.