By: Raphael Likaka
A woman died and two other people sustained injuries on Tuesday in Zomba after a drunk driver rammed into a stationary vehicle.
The Zomba Senior Resident Magistrate Court yesterday convicted the driver, Oliver Malemia, 42, of causing death due to reckless driving and driving under influence of liquor which is contrary to section 126(4)(a) and 128(1) of Road Traffic Act.
Assistant Public Relations Officer for Eastern Police Sergeant Tionge Kayenda has confirmed the conviction of Oliver Malemia.
Sergeant Kayenda said that Eastern Region Police prosecutor, Sub Inspector Asma Katete, told the court that on February 22, 2022 at around 2:30AM, Malemia was driving motor vehicle registration number CK 5499 Scannia Tipper from the direction of Thondwe heading to Domasi whilst drunk with three passengers on board.
Due to the influence of liquor as well as speeding, upon arrival at Chinamwali Kangaroo Trading Company, he lost control of the motor vehicle and hit a stationary which had broken down.
Following the incident, the driver escaped unhurt while the three passengers sustained serious injuries. One named Moreen Thunya, 33, died upon arrival at Zomba Central Hospital while two, Patrick Mkolokosa 45 and Eliza Makoka 25, got admitted at the same hospital.
In court, Malemia pleaded guilty to charges of causing death due to reckless driving and driving under influence of liquor which ARE contrary to section 126(4)(a) and 128(1) of Road Traffic Act.
In his submission, Katete told the court that cases of road accidents are rising due to careless drivers like Malemia. He further said that the charges are all serious which requires meaningful sentence of not less than two years or a fine of not less than K1.2 million to act as a lesson to other careless drivers.
In mitigation, Malemia pleaded the court for mercy saying that he is a first offender, breadwinner to his family and also has a medical problem.
Senior Resident Magistrate Yohane Munthali then convicted Oliver Malemia and sent him on remand pending court sentence on March 4, 2022.
Malemia hails from Mwachande village traditional authority Machinjiri in Blantyre district.