5 Men Jailed  In Mangochi For Possessing Forest Produce

First Grade Magistrate Roy Kakutu, concurred with the state hence sentencing each of them to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment with hard labour First Grade Magistrate Roy Kakutu, concurred with the state hence sentencing each of them to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment with hard labour

A First Grade Magistrate's Court in Mangochi on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, convicted and sentenced four men to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment with hard labour each, for being found in possession of forest produce without  licence.

The court through state prosecutor, Sub Inspector Shadreck Wisiki, heard that a team from forest department on February 15, 2023, while patrolling around Namizimu Forest, found Geofrey Majidu, 24, and his four accomplices cutting down trees and burning charcoal in the protected area without permit.

Sub Inspector Wisiki, said the matter was reported to Malamia Police Mobile Service Camp, who rushed to the scene and arrested them.

Appearing before court, all convicts pleaded not guilty to the charges, prompting the state to parade three witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and were convicted accordingly.

In mitigation, they all asked for court's leniency, saying they have family obligations.

In his submission, state prosecutor Sub Inspector Wisiki, reminded the court that the convicts' behaviour are some of the contributing factors to the nation's climate change, hence prayed for custodial penalties.

Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Roy Kakutu, concurred with the state hence sentencing each of them to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment with hard labour as a deterrent to other would be offenders.

All convicts hail from Traditional Authority Chowe in Mangochi District.

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