By Michael Chiotcha
A court in Mangochi has given to Malawi Government 400 bags of maize which were confiscated from a Kasungu based farmer after he was caught smuggling the maize to Mozambique.
Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, July 22, 2021 convicted Mark Mbewe, 37, a smallholder farmer from Kasungu and forfeited his 400 bags of maize which have since been donated to Mangochi District Hospital to feed patients.
The court, heard through the state prosecutor, Sub Inspector Emmanuel Kambwiri that on July 18, 2021, Mbewe who carried 400 bags of maize on Scania truck registration number MH8667 was intercepted along uncharted routes to Mozambique by officers at Katuli border.
“The truck was impounded because it was exporting farm produce outside the country without a permit,” said Kambwiri.
Appearing in court, the accused person pleaded guilty to the charge leveled against him.
In mitigation, the convict asked the court for leniency, saying he is a bread winner to his family, but the state prayed for stiffer penalty while reminding the court that the trader defied conditions set by the government which are supposed to be abided by every trader.
Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe expressed his concern over the convict’s conduct.
He therefore ordered that all the 400 bags should be given to Malawi Government. The maize was offloaded and handed over to the Mangochi Hospital administration in the presence of court and police representatives.
Mbewe comes from Kaning’a Village, Traditional Authority Mwase in Kasungu.