Mangochi Second Grade Magistrate Court on Monday convicted and sentenced five women each to pay a fine of K1, 500 or in default serve 40hours of Community Service after finding them guilty of an offence of gambling.
The offence of gambling is contrary to section 180 (C) of the penal code. The maximum punishment for the offence is a fine of K50, 000 or in default serve six months in prison.
It was learnt in court that the five women, Clara Banda, 30, Hilda Mzee, 28, Alice Bwanali, 23, Gladys Sitola, 21, and Memory Phiri, 18, were found gambling or playing a game of a chance in one of the houses at the Boma.
The court further heard that the five were arrested by the police following a tip from members of the community who were concerned with the turn of events in the area.
“These five women were playing a game of chance (gambling) in one of the houses at the populous Kalonga location within the district and the police following a tip from members of the general public arrested them,” police prosecution, Sergeant Titus Fabiyawo told the court.
Fabiyawo further told the court a police search on the accused persons discovered that they had money amounting to K900 on them. The money was tendered in court as exhibit.
Passing judgment, Second Grade Magistrate, Pyson Mwenyali observed that gambling was becoming common in Mangochi among women, which was supposed to be uprooted before things went out of control.
“The court has a responsibility to put some practices to halt before they become a habit, which is why the convicts deserve a stiffer punishment to stop them from continuing with the malpractice as well as to act as a bell to other would-be offenders,” Mwenyali pronounced.
All the five convicted women who have since paid the fines hail from Kalonga village in the area of Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi District.