Mulunguzi Magistrates Court in Zomba has sentenced Samuel Makhwiri to three years imprisonment with hard labour for illegally possessing medical drugs, equipment and operating a clinic.

He was found guilty for illegal possession of medical drugs and hospital equipment contrary to section 45(a) of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act and for illegally operating a private clinic contrary to section 59 of the Medical Practitioner and Dentists Act.

When presenting facts, Sergeant Haswell Chimtali, a prosecutor at Zomba Police Station told the court that on December 8, a team of officers from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board in a joint operation with Zomba Police conducted a sweeping exercise on drug vending where they followed up a tip from well-wishers that the accused was operating a clinic at his home.

Chimtali said the team found medical equipment and drugs for which the owner failed to produce a license.

Police arrested Makhwiri and brought him before the court after he stated that he buys the drugs and equipment from different markets for sale to community members.

During mitigation, he submitted that he was a farmer and that he engaged in the drug business in order to support his children who are at school. He said he has six school going grandchildren who look up to him for their school needs.

When passing judgment, Senior Resident Magistrate, Wyson Chamdima Nkhata sentenced Makhwiri to three years saying he had considered aggravating and mitigating factors to suit the offender and nature of the offence.

Samuel Makhwiri hails from Kaselema Village in the area of Traditional Authority Nkanda in Mulanje district.

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