2024-06-14

Man fined for discrimination on HIV/AIDS Act in Balaka

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The Balaka First Grade Magistrate’s Court has ordered a 45-year-old man to pay a fine of K65,000.00 for the offence of discrimination on HIV/AIDS Act.

State prosecutor Sub Inspector Liston Sabola told the jam-packed court that the convict Frank Nazombe on November 18, 2023 at Chilobwe Village in Traditional Authority Nsamala in Balaka District based on perception uttered discriminatory information about the HIV and AIDS status of a certain woman (name withheld).

The court further heard that on the particular night around 20:00 hours, the convict and his friend went to the victim’s house to drink beer and instead of drinking beer, the convict and his friend started quarreling with other customers at the beer spree and the convict was later chased out from the premises.

State prosecutor Sub Inspector Sabola further told the court the following day, the convict went again to the house of the victim and started insulting her to say she is HIV/AIDS, adding that she transmitted the virus to various men.

This lead the victim to report the matter to police.

Appearing before court, the convict pleaded not guilty to a charge of discrimination on HIV and AIDS contrary to Section 6 of HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Management) Act.

This prompted the state to parade three witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and he was convicted accordingly.

In mitigation, the convict asked the court for leniency, saying he committed the offence under the influence of liquor.

In his submission, state prosecutor Sub Inspector Sabola pleaded with the court to pass a stiff punishment to the offender as a warning to other would-be offenders.

In his ruling, First Grade Magistrate Phillip Chibwana concurred with the state’s submission and quashed the mitigation factor and therefore sentenced him to pay a fine of K65,000.00 as a compensation to the victim.

The convict, Frank Nazombe, comes from Kapile Village in the area of Traditional Authority Nsamala in Balaka District.

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