The Lilongwe First Grade Magistrate’s Court has fined Clapperton Munthali K225,000 for fraudulently diverting water from the Waterboard pipes to his houses, incurring a K3.5 million bill in the process.
Munthali was found guilty of fraudulent appropriation of water, an offence which contravenes Section 298A of the Penal code.
State Prosecutor Sub Inspector John Kamphani told the court that Munthali, on 8 March 2018, by-passed water pipes at Area 24, facilitating illegal water usage in seven houses.
Following a tip, a team from Lilongwe Waterboard disconnected the water, leading to Munthali’s arrest.
During his court appearance, he denied the charge and the state paraded 5 witnesses, leading to his being found guilty.
In his mitigation, Munthali prayed for leniency saying he is a first offender and has family and business to look after.
However, Prosecutor Kamphani asked the same court to mete out a meaningful sentence against the accused considering that the water utility body is losing a lot of revenue through illegal connections like what the accused did.
In his determination, First Grade Magistrate Sara Beza bought into the state’s plea and handed Munthali a K225,000 fine or a 12-month jail term in default.
He has since paid the fine to escape jail.
Munthali, 48, comes from Mlowe village, Traditional Authority Mwamulowe in Rumphi District.