A 29-year-old driver in Dowa, Nickison Jesnawo, has been convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of K200,000.00 or in default serve 10 months imprisonment with hard labour for the offence of trafficking in forest produce without a permit.
The Dowa First Grade Magistrate’s Court on Friday, through state prosecutor Inspector Christopher Daluni heard that the driver, Nickison Jesnawo, was arrested in the wee hours of Thursday, July 15 2021 at Dowa Trading Centre after he was found trafficking in 60 bags of charcoal without a permit on a motor vehicle registration number DA 9457.
The court further learnt that the driver was arrested by Officer In-charge for Dowa Police Station Deputy Commissioner Rhoda Manjolo when she was conducting a monitoring visit to night patrol officers who were on duty and came across the motor vehicle, leading to the arrest of the driver.
Appearing before court, the driver pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking in forest produce without a permit contrary to Section 20 of the new ammended Forest Act.
In his submission, state prosecutor Inspector Christopher Daluni asked the court to mete out a stiff punishment to the offender, saying the offence committed is serious in nature and that forest produce are being destroyed by such people, leading to environmental degradation.
Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Amran Phiri concurred with the state’s submission and ordered the driver to pay a fine of K200,000.00 or in default serve 10 months imprisonment with hard labour as a deterrent to others with similar intentions.
The driver has since paid the fine while the charcoal have been forfeited to Malawi Government and the motor vehicle restored to the owner.
The driver, Nickison Jesnawo, comes from Lungani Village in the area of Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa District.