A court in Mzimba has fined five women after they illegally imported 180 bags of charcoal from Zambia using a CCAP Synod of Livingstonia vehicle.
Mzimba Senior Resident Magistrate Mathews Msiska ruled that the women should serve a jail term of up to 30 months each if they fail to pay the fine.
The women have been identified as Cecelia Gama aged 28, Esther Khoza aged 27, Jessie Nyirenda aged 34, Judith Hara aged 27 and Hellen Chirwa aged 22.
The court heard that the five women as well as a driver and his four assistants were caught importing the charcoal in November this year.
The five women were charged with importing the forest products and possession of the forest products contrary to the Forest Act.
In his ruling after the women were found guilty, Magistrate Msiska ordered the woman to pay K150,000 or if they fail, to spend 30 months in prison.
He also fined them K100,000 each possession of the bags of charcoal or in default to serve 24 months.
The driver and four assistants were ordered to pay a fine of K150,000 each or in default serve a jail term of 30 months for trafficking forest products
On the CCAP synod of Livingstonia vehicle registration number MZ47, Msiska said it should be returned to the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia because it was the first time for the vehicle to be used in illegal operations.