By Amina Tepani Daud

The Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has on March 13, 2024 convicted and ordered Mary Julius Saidi, 25, and Molly Kainga, 34, each to pay K2,450,000(Two million, four hundred and fifty thousand kwacha) for contravening sections 106(1), 95(1b), 56, 68, and 65(1) of Pharmacy and Medicines, Regulatory Authority Act and section 25 of HIV and AIDS(prevention and Management) Act respectively.

During court proceedings, prosecutor lnspector Shadreck Wisiki told court that, the two convicts conspired in the production of a fake HIV/AIDS cure drug known as Gammora by using gentamicin injection and they were buying it from specific two drug stores within Mangochi Township, in the process they removed the original stickers and rebranded them with the Gammora label.

The two who jointly bear the TikTok username “Gammora,” had been advertising and offering for sale the said fake product and were selling a dosage of three bottles at a sum of K120,000.

Prosecutor Wisiki added that a number of HIV patients had been duped by the duo which prompted them to report to the police, leading to the arrest of Saidi on March 3, at Abuja Bus Depot within Mangochi Boma while Kainga was nabbed two days later in Salima and both were found with bottles of gentamicin and Gammora stickers.

Appearing in court both convicts pleaded guilty to all six counts.

In mitigation the duo who both have little babies asked for court’s leniency citing that their toddlers would suffer if jailed.

In his submission, Prosecutor Wisiki objected their plea emphasized that the duo are inhumane and their fake product is not medically certified which exposed a number of patients at risk hence asked the court for stiffer sentences.

Passing sentence Senior Resident Magistrate Muhammad Chande concurred with the state that the duo offered hope to HIV/AIDS patients and deterred them to desist from receiving proper medication.

He therefore ordered each to pay K700,000 for the first count, K350,000 second count, K350,000 third count, K350,000 fourth count, K350,000 for the fifth count and another K350,000 for the last count in default 2-years imprisonment with hard labour.

Chande further forfeited all the three cellphones which were being used to swindle money from patients to the Malawi Government.

Julius hails from Kalonga village, Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi while Kainga comes from Kalilombe village, Traditional Authority Chakhumbira in Ntcheu.

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