Driver fined K700,000 for being found with charcoal, obstructing police


The First Grade Magistrate’s court at Mponela in Dowa District has fined a 25-year-old truck driver 7500,000 Malawi Kwacha for being found in possession of 120 bags of Charcoal without license and for obstructing police officers who were on duty.

The driver has been identified as Lingison Frank, 25.

Mponela police Station Publicist sergeant Macpatson Msadala has confirmed and said that the court through Mponela Police Station Prosecution Officer Sub Inspector Benedict Mathambo heard that, on October 29, 2021, a team of police officers were on community sensitization campaign at Mphaka Village in Traditional Authority Dzoole in the district.

The officers received information that some people had seen a certain unregistered Scania Truck carrying charcoal.

“Police officers followed up the matter and managed to intercept the motor vehicle in question. Upon being asked about the relevant documents permitting him to carry such goods, the driver failed to produce any document, which forced the police officers to instruct him to go with the said vehicle to Mponela Police Station.

“The driver defied the orders and drove his vehicle towards Lilongwe which is away from Mponela and threatened the police officers that he would kill them by hitting them with the motor vehicle if they dared to block his way,” he said.

However, the police officers vigilantly managed to control the driver until he arrived at Mponela Police and later placed him in cell.

Later, he was charged with counts of found in possession of forest produce without license contravening section 68(3)(a) of the Forest Act and obstructing police officers whilst on duty contravening section 256(b) of the Penal Code.

Appearing in court, Frank pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against him.

In his submission, State Prosecutor Mathambo asked the court to give stiff punishment to the driver for him to learn and deter others from committing similar offences.

Passing judgment, First Grade Magistrate Talakwanji Mndala concurred with the state’s submissions and ordered the convict to pay K500,000 for the offence of found in possession of forest produce without license and K200 000 for obstructing police officers whilst on duty or in default to serve 36 months jail term.

He further ordered that the said bags of charcoal be forfeited to Malawi Government but the vehicle to be returned to the owner.

Lingison Frank hails from Ngunda Village in Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa District.