A court in Kasungu has handed down hefty fines to two people for illegal transportation of charcoal.
The First Grade Magistrate Court in Kasungu has ordered Lovemore Njolomole and Jacqueline Malipa to pay fine of K500, 000 and K400, 000 respectively or in default serve 15 months imprisonment with hard labour for transporting charcoal without permission.
The court heard through State Prosecutor Vickness Chinseu that on February 8, 2021, the two were found in possession of 39 bags of charcoal at Chimaliro forest in the district.
Chinseu told the court that the two convicts were intercepted at Chimaliro forest roadblock while carrying 39 bags of charcoal in a three tonne motor vehicle van registration number BU1856 belonging to Siku transport company.
During court proceeding, First Grade Magistrate Damiano Banda found the two guilty of two counts; found in possession of charcoal without licence, contrary to section 68 of Forest Act, and Trafficking of forest produce without a licence, contrary to section 68(1) of Forest Act.
In his judgement, Magistrate Damiano convicted and sentenced Lovemore Njolomole to pay a fine of K400 000 and K100,000 for the motor vehicle and Jacqueline Malipa to a fine of K400 000 and in default to serve 15 months imprisonment with hard labour.
Jacqueline Malipa comes from Mwinje village, Traditional Authority Chikowi in Zomba district while Lovemore Njolomole comes from Njolomole village in the area of Traditional Authority Njolomole in Ntcheu district.