Court fines, revokes licence for reckless driver in Nkhotakota

The Nkhunga first grade magistrate court in Nkhotakota has convicted and sentenced 31 year-old Jimison Chinangwa to pay a fine of K450,000. in default to serve a 40 month jail sentence for causing death due to reckless driving.

Presenting facts in court, Sgt. Mickeas Chatsila said that on the night of New year’s day, Chinangwa was driving a Toyota Sienta vehicle registration number KK 6865 from Dwangwa heading Nkhotakota.

Upon reaching Msenjele trading center, he hit 23 year old Chikumbutso Kadatseka but the driver did not stop.

Victim was pronounced dead at Msenjele health center where he was rushed due to severe head injuries.

Two days later, the driver handed himself to police and was charged with four counts:
1-causing death by reckless/negligent driving
2-Failing to render reasonable assistance
3- Failing to report an accident within 24 hours
4-Failing to stop the motor vehicle after an accident

Appearing in court on Tuesday this week, Chinangwa pleaded guilty to all counts and during mitigation, he pleaded for leniency saying he is the sole bread winner for his family.

The state however in its submissions decried the driver’s conduct saying had he stopped and rendered assistance to the victim, life would have been saved hence prayed for stiffer sentence to the convict.

Presiding magistrate Kingsley Buleya while concurring with the state bemoaned the reckless driving by most drivers plying their trade between Dwangwa and Nkhotakota that put passengers and other road users lives at risk.

Magistrate Buleya then ordered the convict to pay K300,000 for the first count and K50,000 to each of the remaining counts in default to serve a period of forty months in jail.

If paid, K200,000 to be given to the deceased family as compensation.

As if that was not enough, magistrate Buleya then revoked the convict’s drivers licence for a period of one year with effect from January 8, 2019.

Both the deceased and convict hail from T/A Kanyenda’s area in the district.

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