Malawi Government given vehicle used for transporting charcoal

Government has been given a 3-tonne lorry which a 29-year-old man used for transporting 45 bags of charcoal in Lilongwe.

The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court has fined the driver, Wells Njobvuyalema, K200,000 for trafficking the bags of charcoal.

Lilongwe Police Station Police Deputy spokesperson Sergeant Foster Benjamin has confirmed.

According to Benjamin, the court, on Thursday September 16 2021, learnt through State Prosecutor Inspector Chancy Chikhola that Njobvuyalema and three others who are still at large were intercepted by the police at Bunda on July 23 2021.

Njobvuyalema was found with 45 bags of charcoal loaded in his Toyota Dyna 3-tonner lorry registration number NN 6989.

In court, Njobvuyalema admitted to possessing and trafficking charcoal, contrary to Section 68 Sub Section 3 (a) of the Forestry Act, as amended by the Forestry Act of 2020.

Prosecutor Chikhola, however, asked the court to impose a stiff penalty on Njobvuyalema.

Chikhola argued that the impact of charcoal is disastrous, saying it has led to increased deforestation and degradation of natural ecosystems.

Passing his sentence, Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa sided with the state and lamented the chilling impact of charcoal business.

Chirwa went on and slapped Njobvuyalema with a K200, 000 fine on both counts or in default serve 12 months in prison.

Njobvuyalema comes from Kandoma Village Traditional Authority Mpando in Ntcheu District.