By Michael Chiotcha
Mangochi First Grade Magistrate’s Court on Friday ordered a 64-year-old man identified as Boyidi Mkandawire to pay a K700,000 fine for fishing in a prohibited area on Lake Malawi.
Mkandawire was charged with offences under sections 14(1) and 42 (1) of Fisheries Conversation and Management Act.
The court heard through Mangochi police station prosecution officer Assistant superintendent Davie Banda that on April 29, 2021, Msaka fisheries team was patrolling, monitoring and controlling fishing activities along the shallow waters of Lake Malawi.
He said, while on their duty, the team intercepted Mkandawire whilst fishing in the prohibited area using under meshed gear and without license.
“The team confiscated the fishing equipment and reported the matter to the police” said Banda.
Appearing in court, Mkandawire pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against him.
In mitigation, the convict asked for court leniency, saying he is old and a breadwinner to his family, but prosecutor Banda asked the court for a stiffer sentence.
First Grade Magistrate Mtunduwatha Mpasu concurred with the state for a stiff penalty and therefore ordered him to pay a fine of K350,000 for fishing using unlawful method and another K350,000 for fishing in waters without license.
Meanwhile, the accused has paid half of the money, and has been given a period of a month to pay the balance.
Boyidi comes from Kondowe village, Traditional Authority Mwasiska in Nkhatabay.