Machinga Magistrate’s Court has sentenced three men to nine months imprisonment each for being found in possession of charcoal contrary to Section 68 of the Forest Act.
Police prosecutor Rodrick Kamuona told the court that Matchani, 50, Kenneth Saveya, 35, and Kaunda Wailesi, 42, were found in possession of some bags of charcoal at their homes after the officers received a tip off.
He said the three were arrested on October 20 during a joint operation by the police and the Department of Forestry.
“Matchani and Saveya were found with two bags of charcoal each while Wailesi was found with one bag. This tendency has resulted into deforestation,” said Kamuona.
In mitigation, the trio said they were bread winners and their families would suffer if they are given custodial sentences.
But second grade magistrate Maxwell Boasi dismissed their plea and gave them custodial sentences without option of fine.
Matchani comes from Mpamanda Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Malemia in Zomba, Saveya is from Makina Village, T/A Kaduya in Phalombe while Wailesi comes from Matupa Village, T/A Chamba in Machinga. n