By Kondwani Magombo-Mana
Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Mangochi Tuesday ordered 30-year-old Nathan Nyirenda to pay a fine of K1.6 million for causing death of four teenagers on the eve of the New Year due to reckless driving.
The court heard from Eastern Region Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent Louis Makiyi, that on the material night, Nyirenda was driving uninsured Toyota Sienta vehicle registration number CA937 from the direction of Monkey-Bay heading Mangochi Boma.
Makiyi told the court that upon reaching Zithere Pano, Nyirenda, who was over speeding, lost control of the motor vehicle and swerved to the extreme side of the road, ploughed into 10 pedestrians before he stopped.
“Following the impact, four of the 10 pedestrians sustained severe head injuries and fractured legs and they later died at Koche Health Centre while receiving treatment,” explained Makiyi.
He added, “The other three were admitted to Mangochi District Hospital for sustaining various degrees of injuries while three others escaped with minor injuries.”
Nyirenda, who has no driving license, pleaded guilty to the six charges which were leveled against him in court and, in mitigation, he prayed for court leniency stating that he is a breadwinner for his family.
However, the state quashed Nyirenda’s appeal, saying his careless behaviour cost innocent people’s lives.
Senior Resident Magistrate Joshua Nkhono who presided over the case, concurred with the state and ordered Nyirenda to pay K1.6 million as follows: K325, 000 for each of the four counts of reckless driving, K100, 000 for operating a motor vehicle on a public road without insurance and K200, 000 for driving a motor vehicle on a public road without license.
The convicted driver has since paid the whole amount and according to the court directive, the K1.4 million will be shared among the four bereaved families as compensation.
Nyirenda hails from Chakaka Village in Traditional Authority Mwalweni in Rumphi District.