MZUZU (MalawiTalk) –A magistrate court in Mzuzu has convicted over a dozen taxi drivers in Mzuzu for unlawful and violent demonstrations.
The court on Thursday ordered them to be jailed for two and half months.
However, they escaped the jail term after paying a fine of K2 500 each.
The Court, sitting before Senior Resident Magistrate Godfrey Nyirenda, heard through police prosecutor Lloyd Banda that the 12, took to the streets mobilizing other tax operators to demonstrate against the government order of reducing number of seating capacity in their taxi vehicles as a preventive measure the spread of Covid 19.
The court heard that the convicts were blocking M1 road at Katoto taxi rank before being apprehended by the police.
Banda created a dead silence in court when he played a recorded video from Techno POP 2 mobile phone owned by a female convict.
The recording captured the police trying to control the situation but from the background the female convict castigated the officers .
Appearing before court, the 13 charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace which infringes section 181 of the penal code.
They all pleaded guilty to the charge.
Banda prayed with the court to mete out a stiffer sentence despite being first offenders claiming that their acts posed threats not only to the general public but also to the police.
He further prayed with the court to have the phone forfeited to the government, to deter other would be offenders.
The court concurred with the state that the conduct by the convicts was unacceptable in society .
He then ordered them to pay a fine of K2,500. each or in default serve a custodial sentence of two and half months imprisonment with hard labour.
The presiding magistrate, then applied section 149 of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code, and ordered forfeiture of the Techno POP 2 phone to the government.
The phone has been given to Mzuzu Police Station where it is to be used at Custody Office.
Meanwhile all the convicts have paid the fine.