20 September 2018

Malawi: Man Jailed 3 Years for Destroying Vegetation in Nyika National Park

Rumphi First Grade Magistrate Court has sentenced Wilson Msonda, 25, to three years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for felling trees and sawing up the logs in Nyika National Park in the district.

The court heard from Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Phiri that Msonda was arrested on August 20 this year after e was found cutting down trees and sawing up the logs in Mwenembe Forest in the park.

He said Msonda was then arrested and charged with three counts of entering a protected area, carrying a weapon in a protected area and destruction of wildlife contrary to National Parks and Wildlife Act.

Appearing in court on Monday, Msonda pleaded guilty to all the charges and was subsequently convicted.

Phiri asked the court for a stiff sentence to deter others with similar intentions.

In mitigation, Msonda asked for leniency, saying he is the bread winner of his family.

But passing judgment, First Grade Magistrate Cuthbert Phiri agreed with State on the gravity of the offence and sentenced Msonda to 30 months IHL for the first count (entering a protected area), two years for the second (carrying a weapon in a protected area) and three years for the third count (destroying wildlife). The sentences will run concurrently.

Msonda, 25, comes from Magwiro Village in Traditional Authority Kachulu in Rumphi District.

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