Police at Jenda in Mzimba have arrested nine people for allegedly being found within Champhira forest reserve burning charcoal without valid documents.

The suspects were also found with some weapons like panga knives and axes.

According to Jenda police spokesperson Martha Msamali the nine were arrested following a joint patrol with Mzimba district forestry office, Champhira water users association and concerned villagers living around the forest.

“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.

“In the course of their duties, they intercepted the said suspects doing illegal activities like burning charcoal in the forest,” said Msamali.

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.

They 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.

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