Sumbawanga — MPANDA District Magistrate's Court in Katavi region has sentenced director of a mining company, a Chinese national, Bloan Chaoxan Zhou (42) to four years in jail for illegally mining at a prohibitive area of Lwafi Game Reserve in the district.
However, the Chinese national,who runs REDORE mining company with headquarters in Dar es Salaam, was set free by the court after paying a fine of 1,850,000/- . The court ordered him not to involve in any criminal activities within a year starting from that date of judgment.
The District Magistrate, Mr Richard Kasele, ordered alleged company to demolish all premises erected in the prohibitive area at its own cost. Prosecuting, the State Attorney from Rukwa Region, Mr Prosper Rweyongira, charged before the court that the alleged mining company illegally entered the prohibitive game reserve forest and started mining activities without holding any legal documents.
Earlier, the State Attorney charged the accused with six charges all of which the accused pleaded guilty to, prompting the trial magistrate, Mr Kasele, to pass sentence on the accused.
According to the sheet charge, the accused was also found guilty of erecting building structures within the restricted game reserve without any legal contract with the relevant authorities .
However, the accused prayed for mercy before the court, saying he had not been aware that it was illegal to carry out mine activities within the game Reserve. He added that he had nevertheless purchased a fake permit for such activities in the area from some people who had maintained to him that the documents had been genuine and legal as well for such activities there.