Five women convicted for possessing forest produce without license in Dowa
Five women in Dowa have been convicted and sentenced to pay various fines for the offence of found in possession of forest produce without a licence.
The five women identified as Eliza Zakeyu, 44, Eliza Tayimu, 27, Olipa Shome, 39, Judith Chisale, 50, and Joyce Kassimu, 36, pleaded guilty to charges of being found in possession of forest produce mainly charcoal without a license after appearing before Dowa First Grade Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.
The court through state prosecutor Inspector Christopher Daluni heard that the women were arrested on February 10 2022 at Chibazi Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority Msakambewa in Dowa District after being found in possession of 150 bags of charcoal without a license and they were traveling in a motor vehicle registration number NU 7735 Benz 15 tonnes lorry.
In his submission, state prosecutor Inspector Christopher Daluni asked the court to mete out stiff punishment to the offenders, arguing that the system of burning charcoal is causing climate change as well deforestation hence inadequate rainfall.
Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Amran Phiri concurred with the state's submission and ordered Eliza Zakeyu, Eliza Tayimu, and Joyce Kassimu to pay a fine of K120 000.00 each or in default serve 7 months imprisonment with hard labor while Olipa Shome and Judith Chisale have been ordered to pay a fine of K150 000.00 or in default serve 7 months imprisonment with hard labor and the charcoal have been forfeited to Malawi Government.