Minibus driver fined for intimidating traffic officers


A court in Ntcheu has fined a minibus driver and has also sentenced him to six months in prison for threatening to kill traffic police officers with his vehicle.

Attributing the story to Malawi24 was Ntcheu police public relations officer Hastings Chigalu who identified the convict as 35 year-old James Mbendera.

Chigalu said the Kasinje First Grade Magistrate Court heard from state prosecutor sub inspector Kesten Chimwala, that on September 2, three Sharpevale traffic police officers were on duty along Balaka-Salima M5 road at Chisoni village.

It said that Mbendera, who was driving a Nissan Vanette Minibus registration number DZ 8823, was stopped and upon checking, officers detected four different offences and he was told to pay fines.

However, Mbendera started insulting the officers with abusive words up to a point of telling the officers that he cannot pay the fines and he warned that he will kill each of the officers with his vehicle whenever they attempt to stop him again.

The officers latter arrested the convict when he jumped into his vehicle to start it off and he was given two extra charges; Use of violence against police officers and intimidating police officers.

Appearing before court, Mbendera pleaded guilty to all the charges and  in mitigation he prayed for leniency saying that he looks after eleven orphans and that his actions on that day were as a result of the devil’s influence.

But the state asked for stiff punishment saying Mbendera’s actions are a threat to both the police and the public, the passengers in particular.

In his ruling, First Grade Magistrate, Augustine Mizaya, concurred with the state saying Mbendera’s behavior need stiffer punishment to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.

He then slapped  the convict with K75, 000 fine for Operating a motor vehicle without a Certificate of Insurance, K100, 000O for operating a motor vehicle without a Certificate of Fitness, K50, 000 for operating a motor vehicle without Road Service Permit, K30, 000 for exceeding Passenger Carrying Capacity and K10, 000 for use of violence against police officers.

The magistrate went on to slap the driver with six months Imprisonment with Hard Labor without an option of a fine for Intimidation.

James Mbendera, hails from Eliya village in the area of Traditional Authority Makwangwala in Ntcheu district“