Police at Jenda Police on Monday arrested 9 people for being found producing charcoal within Champhira Forest Reserve in Mzimba.
According to Police report, the suspects are identified as John Nyirongo 35, Dako Mwale 35, Dennis Mafuleka 47, Golden Phiri 34, Yohane Nyirongo 37, Nation Phiri 24, Manuel Saka 37 and Grace Chunda 42.
Spokesperson for Jenda Police Station Sub Inspector Martha Msamali Jenda confirmed the arrests on the people.
“They were found within the protected area after Police conducted a joint operation with officials from Mzimba District Forestry office, Champhira Water Users committee and concerned villagers surrounding the Forest Reserve.
“We intercepted the suspects and found that they were doing illegal activities like burning charcoal in the forest,” said Msamali
The suspects will appear in court soon to answer charges of being found conveying and possessing weapons in a protected area contrary to Section 43(1) as read with Section 71(1) of the Forestry Act.
Meanwhile, Police have warned the community that they will arrest and bring to justice those who encroach into the protected areas.
The police have further advised the community to protect the Reserve by avoiding cutting down trees and burning charcoal.