Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s court on Tuesday ordered six traders to clean at Mangochi District Hospital and court premises for one and half hours a day for seven days.
The traders were found guilty of failing to comply with licence conditions contrary to regulation 8(b) of Agriculture (general purposes) Act.
During court proceedings, Mangochi Police Prosecutor Sergeant John Makawa told the court that, on July 16, 2021, Mangochi Police officers intensified patrols in the various parts of the district enforcing measures of controlling tendency by unscrupulous traders who are roaming around in the villages to buy farm produce from less privileged farmers.
In the process they intercepted traders who violated conditions of their licences which do not allow them to conduct farm produce business in Mangochi.
Appearing in court, all the accused persons pleaded guilty to their charges.
In mitigation, the accused persons asked the court for leniency saying that they are breadwinners to their families but the state prayed for stiffer penalties while reminding the court that the traders defied conditions set by the government which are supposed to be followed by every trader.
When passing judgement , Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe expressed his concern over the accused persons’ conducts.
He therefore sentenced three of them to clean the court premises while the other three were ordered to clean Mangochi District Hospital for one and half hours a day in seven days in default to three months imprisonment with hard labour.
In the meantime, the convicts have started their punishments which is being inspected by Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe himself and their motor vehicles will be released after the completion of their punishments.