The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has fined Hanna Sitima K3.5 million after finding her guilty of illegally re-connecting water at her Area 47 residence.
This was after Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) had disconnected supply for non-payment.
The trial progressed at a snail pace until Friday last week when the court passed the judgement.
LWB acting spokesperson Maurice Nkawihe said Sitima, 48, was arrested on March 27 2018 during an operation which the board jointly conducted with Malawi Police Service (MPS).
Earlier this year, Sitima was charged with fraudulent appropriation of water contrary to Section 298 (A) of the Penal Code after she also reconnected water after LWB had disconnected supply in March this year and the court ordered her to pay K150 000 or in default serve 18 months imprisonment.
“This is the second time for her to be fined. She was arrested for illegal connection in February this year. She was also arrested on a similar charge in March,” he said.
Nkawihe said the board loses about K120 million every month due to illegal connections, which translates to about K1.2 billion annually.
Between October 2017 and February 2018, LWB registered 104 cases of illegal connections, out of which 54 were confirmed.
About 38 cases were charged and fined with a cumulative amount of K226 million. Other people caught and charged for illegal water connections this year are Billy Matchado and Stephano Kambale who were fined K100 000 and K90 000, respectively.