The First Grade Magistrate Court in Rumphi has sentenced Wilson Msonda aged 25 to three years imprisonment with hard labour for cutting trees in Nyika National Park.
The court heard that Msonda, on August 20, 2018, was found sawing timber in Mwenembe Forest within Nyika National Park.
He was charged with three counts of entering into protected area without permission; conveying weapons in protected area and destruction of wild plants contrary to sections 32 as read together with section 108, 33 (a) and 33 (a) of National Parks and Wildlife Act, respectively.
Appearing in court, Manda pleaded guilty. Police Prosecutor Sergeant Paul Phiri asked the court to impose a stiff punishment while the convict asked for leniency since he is a breadwinner for his family.
First Grade Magistrate Cuthbert Phiri agreed with the state’s submissions and proceeded to sentence Manda to 30 months IHL for the first count; two years for the second count and three years for the third count. All sentences will run concurrently.