The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrates Court has fined 29-year-old Wells Njobvuyalema K200, 000 for trafficking 45 bags of charcoal without a permit.

The court has also ordered forfeiture of his 3-tonner lorry to the Malawi Government.

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.

He 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 stiffer penalty on Njobvuyalema.

He 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 the 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 hails from Kandoma Village Traditional Authority Mpando in Ntcheu District.

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