As Mussa John continues to languish in jail after being sentenced to three years in prison for being found with Chamba, a Nigerian national has been fined K1.5 million for being found with cocaine.
The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court has ordered Nigerian national, Chima Okoyi, to pay K1.5 million or in default serve a 12 months jail sentence with hard labour.
Okoyi was found in possession of 17 blisters of cocaine. He was arrested on August 27 this year at his home at Area 49 in Lilongwe.
Lilongwe Police Spokesperson Hastings Chigalu has told the local media that Okoyi is yet to pay the fine.
It is expected that the Nigerian will pay the fine and escape the prison sentence.
In contrast, Mussa John, a Malawian teenager, is serving a three year jail term for being found with 78 plastic bags of Indian Hemp (chamba), which is also an illegal drug. In fact, John was sentenced to eight years in prison but the sentence was reduced to three years without option of fine by the High Court last week following pressure from the public.
Reacting to Okoyi’s sentence, Malawians have argued that some convicts are being treated fairly by the justice system.
“He (Okoyi) will pay mwinanso (maybe) he has already paid and he will continue doing his business why is this country so unfair to its citizens koma obwera nde kumamva kukoma..very sad,” wrote comedian Tannah while commenting on a Facebook post.
Another commenter said: “This is outrageous. Cocaine is much deadlier than Chamba. Cocaine ruins lives. This man is a pusher of death. No country on earth would give a cocaine pusher the choice to pay a fine to avoid a prison sentence. This country loves to oppress its own people. Everytime foreigners are found guilty, they get a slap on the wrist.”
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