A Machinga man is serving a jail term after failing to pay K100 000 in fines following his conviction on three counts culminating from his illegal activities in Liwonde National Park.
John Kadewere, 25, was convicted last Friday on his own plea of guilty and sent to jail because he had no money to pay the fine, Machinga Police Station spokesperson Davie Sulumba, who witnessed the court proceedings, confirmed yesterday.
Machinga Police Station prosecutor Rodrick Kamuona told Liwonde First Grade Magistrate’s Court that Kadewere was caught on November 16 this year by Parks and Wildlife assistants while fishing in the park which is a protected area.
Kadewere, who was accompanied by two accomplices who escaped, was charged and found guilty on three counts of illegal entry into a national park, conveying weapons into the national park and illegal fishing in the national park.
Before convicting Kadewere, magistrate Jones Masula advised the community to refrain from entering the park illegally, saying it is not only against the laws but dangerous to their lives as well.
In mitigation, the convict asked the court for leniency, saying he was a first offender and a breadwinner in his family.
However, the prosecutor argued that such cases are common; hence the need for a stiff punishment.
He was ordered to pay K25 000, K50 000 and K25 000 for the first, second and third counts, respectively or in default to serve 10 months imprisonment. This means Kadewere will serve 10 months in jail. n