Rumphi First Grade Magistrate’s Court has ordered a police recruit to pay K15 000 for possessing muzzle loaders.
The recruit, Constable Hendrix Msiska, 35, of Vundu Village, Traditional Authority Mwalweni in Rumphi, was found with two muzzle loaders in his house last week.
Police in the district conducted an operation at Ntchenachena and Lura to seize muzzle loaders as one way of curbing poaching.
While the exercise was underway, some villagers tipped off the law enforcers that Msiska was keeping the guns in his house.
When police searched Msiska’s house, they arrested him after finding two weapons.
Msiska pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before the court.
He told the court that the muzzle loaders belonged to his deceased uncle, claiming he had planned to surrender them to police as a way of fighting poaching and possession of such guns.
But first grade magistrate Brian Msiska convicted the law enforcer and fined him K15 000 or in default to serve 10 months imprisonment. The convict has since paid the fine.
Muzzle loaders are locally made guns mostly used for poaching in parks and game reserves. Possession of such guns is illegal.
During a recent security review meeting, Northern Region Commissioner of Police Martha Suwedi condemned the behaviour of some police officers who are involved in crime.
She called on the citizenry to help police in identifying such officers so that they are brought to book. n