The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has fined 14 people, including 8 sex workers, K10, 000 each for failing to wear face masks at beer drinking joints.
The convicts were on Thursday found guilty of contravening Public Health and Covid-19 regulations, contrary to Section 20 Sub Section 3(a) as read with Section 20 Sub Section 2 (b) of the Malawi Public Health Act of 2020.
The court, through State Prosecutor Sub Inspector Kettie Mvula, heard that the 14 were arrested on Tuesday night at Chinsapo 2, Chitipi, Njewa and Area 36.
Mvula said police were enforcing Covid-19 regulations when they busted on the accused who had had no masks on.
When they appeared in court, all the 14 pleaded guilty to the charge against them.
The state, however, asked the court to mete out harsh punishment, arguing defying Covid-19 regulations is a serious case.
“Government is trying to stop the deadly pandemic but it’s unfortunate that the convicts are not ready to assist government in this exercise. Hence you should impose on them tough penalties to deter others,” Mvula argued.
In her determination, Senior Resident Magistrate Florence Msekandiana condemned the defendants’ conduct, saying it endangers the lives of the community.
She urged them to be law abiding citizens and be proactive in taking part in the containment of coronavirus.
Msekandiana went on to slap the 14 with K10 000 fine each to deter other would-be offenders.
The convicts have since paid the fines.