A health surveillance assistant (HSA) at Chikwawa District Hospital has been sentenced to pay a fine of K75,000 for possessing medical drugs she had stolen at the facility, according to Chikwawa Police publicist, Foster Benjamin.

The convict, Mwayi Mahowe, was found guilty of being found in possession of medical drugs without permit, contrary to Section 35 as read with Section 65 of Pharmacy, Medicine and Poisons Act.

On 8 June, at Dyeratu Trading Centre, the convict was selling assorted drugs such as lumefantrine artemether (LA),bactrim and antirotreviral drugs (ARVs.)

“Some well-wisher tipped off police detectives who rushed and apprehended the accused before seizing drugs from her,” narrated Police Prosecutor Sergeant George Hussein.

During her trial, Mahowe denied the charge, and the state had to parade 4 witnesses against her.

She was subsequently found with a case to answer.

Benjamin said the state asked the court to consider cracking a harshest whip on the accused, arguing drug pilferage cases were on the rise at the hospital.

Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu observed that drug theft was a serious crime impacting negatively on the poor.

Chirundu then slapped the accused with a K75,000 fine or, in default, serve 12 months in jail.

She has since paid the fine.

Mahowe is from Mbenderana Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kasisi in Chikwawa District.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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