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Sunday, 31 December 2017 11:41

Three fined K80, 000 each for contravening Shipping Act

Written by  Marvelous Zinga

MANGOCHI, December 31, 2017: Monkey Bay Third Grade Magistrate’s Court in Mangochi on Friday convicted and sentenced three men to pay a fine of K80, 000 each or in default serve a six month jail term for operating unseaworthy vessels.

The three, Michael Ngwira, 20, Luka Mhone, 30 and Kasitomu Chidakwa, 42, were convicted on the count of operating unseaworthy boats with invalid documents and all the counts contravene Section 50 of In-land Waters Shipping Act, state prosecutor, Sergeant McAnthony Phiri of Monkey Bay Police Post told the court.

The court heard that the three were arrested on Christmas when Marine Police were conducting patrols on the waters of Lake Malawi.

“In the course of their duty, the patrolling officers found Ngwira, Mhone and Chidakwa sailing with boats without life-saving equipment and without valid documents,” Phiri told the court.

The three pleaded guilty and admitted to the charges leveled against them and the court therefore, convicted them on their own plea of guilt.

However, passing judgment, Third Grade Magistrate Samuel Kasile observed that safety of people traveling by water was always supposed to be a priority.

Kasile pointed out that a lot of lives had been lost in the recent past due to negligence of boat operators, hence the need to mete out stiff penalties to convicts to deter others from committing similar offences.

All the three convicts, who have since paid the fine, hail from Nsumbi Village in the area of Traditional Authority Nankumba in Mangochi.

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