The Mtakataka Second Grade Magistrate’s court has fined a Mzuzu University (Mzuni) driver K800 000 or in default to serve 12 months jail term for reckless driving.
The driver, Stephano Kamowa, 39, was charged with causing death by reckless or negligent driving after the Toyota Coaster, he was driving carrying Mzuni students plunged into Nadzipulu River near Mtakataka Trading Centre in Dedza on Sunday, resulting in the death of four students and injuring several others.
Death by reckless or negligent driving contravenes Section 126 (1) of the Road Traffic Act which states that no person shall drive a vehicle on a public road recklessly or negligently.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Dedza Police Station spokesperson Edward Kabango said the driver has since paid an instalment of K600 000 after appearing before the court on Tuesday.
He said: “He [Kamowa] appeared before the Second Grade Magistrate’s Court yesterday [Tuesday] and a fine of K800 000 was imposed on him, or to serve in default a 12 month [1 year] jail term. However, on the same day, he made payment of K600 000 out of the imposed fine.”
The vehicle carried students from Mzuni and Mzuzu Technical College and their officials who were returning from a National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Mo626 National College Basketball tournament at Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) in Thyolo.
President Peter Mutharika, in a statement, offered his condolences to the bereaved families describing the accident as horrific.