The Principal Resident Magistrate Court sitting in Nkhata Bay, has, sentenced a 46 year-old woman Gloria Nyamalo, to 6 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for being found in possession of charcoal-a forest produce-without a license.

State Prosecutor, Dalireni Kalanguluka told the court that police

officers intercepted Nyamalo on the night January 1, 2022 at Kawalazi Tea Estate in the district with 40 bags of charcoal without license.

“Police officers from Nkhata Bay were  patrolling Kawalazi area and when they saw a vehicle which was loaded with 40 bags of charcoal. Nyamalo was then arrested,” said Kalanguluka.

Kalanguluka asked the court to mete out a stiff punishment on Kalanguluka to deter would be offenders.

“This malpractice is a major contributor to deforestation in the country, as such the convict needs stiff punishment,” said Kalanguluka.

In mitigation Nyamalo who pleaded guilty asked the court for the leniency saying she is widow and cares for five children.

Kandulu said the offence is contrary to Section of 68 (3) (a) of Forest Act of 2019 and gave her to a six-year jail term.

Nyamalo hails from Mzumala village in the area of Traditional Authority Mnyangu in Kasungu District.