Reports have indicated that there had been what may be called injustice sentences between a Malawian woman who was found with cocaine at Kamuzu International Airport and a Venezuelan woman who was also found with the same illicit drug at Chileka Airport but handed a fair punishment than that of a Malawian national.

The now Malawian convict, a 23 year old Linda Chinula was in 2016 stopped at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) for allegedly importing two kilogrammes of cocaine.

She was charged with illegal importation of dangerous drugs which is an offence under Section 11(a) as read with Regulation 19 of Dangerous Drug Act.

Linda Chinula

Upon being found guilty in court in November 2016, senior resident magistrate Shyreen Yona of Lilongwe Senior Residence Magistrate court sentenced her to three years Imprisonment with hard labour; a sentence which was deemed as fair as per the offence committed.

A year down the line, a Venezuelan woman identified as Andreina Del Valle Mendez Torres, was caught with the same illicit drug cocaine at Chileka Airport.

She was recently brought before Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza to answer charges of illegal Importation of Dangerous Drugs contrary to Section 11 (a) as read with Regulation 19 of Dangerous Drug Act.

Andreina Del Valle Mendez Torres

However, upon being found guilty, the court sentenced the woman to only 7 months in prison and also ordered her to go free stating that she had been on remand at prison since the day of her arrest and therefore she served the sentence automatically.

But the sentences have not been received happily by the general public who claims that the Venezuelan national has been favored. The concerned people have questioned the science of sentencing that takes place in Malawian courts taking into consideration of the two sentences.

Meanwhile, human rights groups have been called to act on the matter.


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