The Dowa First Grade Magistrate’s Court sitting at Msongandeu Court on Tuesday convicted and sentenced a 38-year-old man to pay a fine of K400 000.00 or in default serve 10 months imprisonment with hard labour for being found in possession of forest produce without a licence.
The court through state prosecutor Sub Inspector Benedict Mathambo heard that the convict Peter Walusa Banda, was arrested on September 13 2021 at Mvera Roadblock in Dowa after he was found in possession of 275 bags of charcoal in a motor vehicle registration number DZ 3477 Scania 10 tonnes.
In his submission, state prosecutor Sub Inspector Benedict Mathambo asked the court to mete out stiff punishment to the offender, saying the behaviour of the convict is leading to environmental degradation hence the need for a stiff punishment for others to learn a lesson.
Passing sentence First, Grade Magistrate Amran Phiri concurred with the state’s submission for a stiff punishment and sentenced the convict to pay a fine of K400 000.00 or in default serve 10 months imprisonment with hard labour while the charcoal has been forfeited to Malawi and the motor vehicle has been restored to the owner.
The convict, Peter Walusa Banda comes from Phalula Village in the area of Traditional Authority Nsamala in Balaka District.
In a related development, the same court has convicted and sentenced 31-year-old man, Lemekezani Chifuniro of Kapondatsoka Village in Traditional Authority Mkukula in Dowa to pay a fine of K70 000.00 or in default serve 6 months imprisonment with hard labour for carrying passengers in a goods compartment of a motor vehicle for reward.
State prosecutor Sub Inspector Benedict Mathambo told the court that the convict carried nine passengers in a goods compartment of a motor vehicle registration number CK 8061 Toyota pickup for reward.
The same court has also convicted and sentenced a 51-year-old driver, Noel Mnjema, to pay a fine of K400 000.00 or in default serve 6 months imprisonment with hard labour for two counts of causing death by reckless driving and operating a motor vehicle on a public road without certificate of insurance.
The convict, Noel Mnjema comes from Mlonyeni Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mlonyeni in Mchinji District.