Blantyre District Forestry Office (DFO) on Wednesday impounded two trucks carrying hundreds of bags of charcoal in Blantyre.
According Blantyre forestry officer Geoffrey Kanyerere, a 30 tonne truck registration number NU 7733/BJ2778 belonging to Chimalira Enterprise in Ntcheu which was driven by McDonald Galison was impounded Wednesday morning at GCD police roadblock along Blantyre-Lunzu road while another 10 tonne truck was also impounded in Machinjiri Blantyre following a tip-off from well-wishers.
In an interview on Wednesday, Kanyerere said a 30 tonne track loaded the charcoal at Phalula area but wondered how it managed to pass through all roadblocks along the Blantyre- Zalewa road.
“I am very surprised how this huge truck managed to pass through all the roadblocks to Blantyre. But we commend some well-wishers who tipped us. This is our nation and we need to take forest degradation as a nation issue not forestry issue. We should work together as a nation to combat this problem,” said Kanyerere who claimed that courts let the department down as charges to the perpetrators are on a lower side.
In a separate interview, Galison said he was aware that what he was doing was illegal but claimed that he was forced by charcoal owner to carry the charcoal.
“I have to take the blame for all this and I knew that it is illegal but when I stopped at Phalula, charcoal owners forced me to carry their charcoal, so accepted for my safety,” said the 30 tonne driver.
According to forestry act, the driver is expected to pay a fine of K600,000 or risk arrest.