The Kapiri Mposhi magistrate has convicted 11 people for operating pharmacies without a license of registration.
The now convicts, who are all Kapiri Mposhi residents, have been fined between K1, 000 to K6, 000 or three to six months imprisonment in default.
Particulars of the offence were that, on December 17, 2020, the 11 people each operated a drug store without a certificate of registration from the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA).
This is contrary to Section 14 (1) of the Medicines and Allied Substances Act No. 3 of 2013.
The now convicts were arrested by ZAMRA and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers in a joint operation aimed at curbing the sale of medicines and allied substances in unregistered outlets in Kapiri Mposhi.
In this matter, seven suspects appeared before Kapiri Mposhi magistrate, Edward Banda while four others were before magistrate Mwila Malupande.
The convicts, who all readily pleaded guilty to the charges, include Simon Phiri, 78, Elias Miselo, 65, Lameck Musonda, 27, Gloria Lungu, 23, and Lazarous Daka and Kayombo Chisale both aged 30.
Others are Robert Simfukwe, 22, Sharon Kalipenta, 20, Patrick Chate, 19, Jabes Banda, 23, and Jones Mumba, also aged 23.
In passing judgement, Magistrate Malupande noted that the offence was very serious and attracted a jail term of up five years or a fine of nine million penalty units or both.
Magistrate Malupande urged the convicts to find other means of making money or follow the due process of registration for them to operate drug stores.
And Magistrate Banda noted that illegal drug stores where a danger on the health of their clients and general public stressing that the court will strive to mete out stiff punishment to deter would be offenders.