The Dowa First Grade Magistrate’s Court sitting at Msongandeu Court on Tuesday ordered a 38-year-old man to pay a fine of K400,000 after he was found transporting 275 bags of charcoal.
The court through state prosecutor Sub Inspector Benedict Mathambo heard that the convict Peter Walusa Banda, was arrested on September 13, 2021 at Mvera Roadblock in Dowa after he was found in possession of 275 bags of charcoal in a 10 tonne truck.
In his submission, state prosecutor Sub Inspector Benedict Mathambo asked the court to mete out a stiff punishment to the offender, saying the behaviour of the convict is leading to environmental degradation hence the need for a stiff punishment for others to learn a lesson.
Passing sentence First, Grade Magistrate Amran Phiri concurred with the state’s submission for a stiff punishment and sentenced the convict to pay a fine of K400,000 or in default serve 10 months imprisonment with hard labour.
The charcoal has been forfeited to Malawi and the motor vehicle has been restored to the owner.
The convict, Peter Walusa Banda comes from Phalula Village in the area of Traditional Authority Nsamala in Balaka District.
In a related development, the same court has convicted and ordered a 31-year-old man, Lemekezani Chifuniro, to pay a fine of K70 000 or in default serve 6 months imprisonment with hard labour for carrying passengers in a goods compartment of a motor vehicle for reward.
State prosecutor Sub Inspector Benedict Mathambo told the court that the convict carried nine passengers in a goods compartment of a Toyota pickup.
The court also ordered a 51-year-old driver, Noel Mnjema, to pay a fine of K400,000 or in default serve 6 months imprisonment with hard labour for two counts of causing death by reckless driving and operating a motor vehicle on a public road without certificate of insurance.
The convict, Noel Mnjema comes from Mlonyeni Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mlonyeni in Mchinji District.