Lundazi, Aug 12, 2014, ZANIS—The Lundazi Magistrate court has convicted and fined a 24 year old businessman K500 or in default three months imprisonment for unlawful possession of Mukula tree logs.
The offence is contrary to section 120[b] of the environmental management act number 12 of 2011.However, three other suspects have pleaded not guilty to the charge.
ZANIS in Lundazi reports that appearing before magistrate Milton Nyirenda were Paul Chipeta aged 24 of Dunda compound, Chipa Mtonga aged 28 of Chenje farms, Punda Sakala ,38 of Chiphunda farms and Mungelo Zgambo aged 37 all from Chief Zumwanda.
Facts before the court were that the four on 27th July 2014 jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown unlawfully had in their possession 116 logs of Mukula tree logs items which have potential use and value to humanity.
Paul Chipeta admitted the charge and the court fined him accordingly while the three other suspects denied the charge.
The court adjourned the matter to 12 August 2014 for written facts and trial.
In mitigation, Paul Chipeta appealed to the court to exercise lenience on him because he had school going children and that his wife was on ART treatment.
However magistrate Nyirenda said the Mukula tree should be protected both by members of the public and that it was the duty of the courts to met out stiff punishment to deter would be offenders.