By Michael Chiotcha
Mangochi First Grade Magistrate’s court on Friday ordered Edward Julio to pay K400,000 or in default to serve 12 months jail term, for endangering safety of persons by carrying 73 people on top of goods in a 7- tonne lorry.
The court learnt through Mangochi police Prosecutor Sub Inspector Emmanuel Kambwiri that that on the night of May 25, 2021 Julio who was driving a Hino Ranger 7- tonner registration number MH8400 was intercepted at Chingo area a long Bakili Muluzi Highway by night patrol officers.
“After searching the motor vehicle, officers discovered that the motor vehicle carried several bags of Maize, 5 Refrigerators, several traveling bags and 73 passengers who were on top of the goods,” said Kambwiri.
Appearing in court, the Julio pleaded guilty to the charge leveled against him.
In mitigation, Julio asked for court leniency stating that he is a breadwinner for his family. However, prosecutor Kambwiri quashed his appeal, saying the accused exceeded the normal carrying capacity which put the lives of people at risk.
Passing Judgement, First Grade Magistrate Mtunduwatha Mpasu concurred with the state and ordered him to pay K 400,000 in default, 12 months imprisonment with hard labour, to deter other would be offenders.
Meanwhile, Julio has paid the fine in cash. Julio comes from Kwiputi village, Traditional Authority Jalasi in Mangochi.