A 64 year old man of Samfya has been fined K10, 000 in default face six months imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of forestry products contrary to section 89 of the forest Act number 4 of 2015.
This was in a matter in which five people were charged with two counts of unlawful possession of forestry products.
Before Magistrate Mapoma Mtonga were whiteson Chembe 64, Bwalya Kaime 35, Lameck Mwenya 30, Emmanuel Malichanga 53 and Enoch Katuta 40 all of Chipokosa village in Chief Kasoma Bangweulu’s area in Samfya district.
In count one, on 21 December, 2022 Chembe, Kaime, Mwenya Malichanga and Katuta jointly and whilst acting together without lawful authority possessed 71 pieces of timber.
In count two Chembe, Malichanga, and Katuta jointly and whilst acting together without lawful authority possessed 285 pieces of timber.
When the matter came up for brief of facts before Magistrate Mtonga, Chembe pleaded guilty of the offense while the other four pleaded not guilty.
Facts before the court are that on 21 December, 2022 Police officers in Samfya received information to the effect that some people were in possession of indigenous timber near the traditional grave yard for Kasoma Bangweulu royal establishment.
Police officers rushed to the scene and found the five accused with 71 pieces of timber.
Police officers further instituted investigations and later searched at the house of Malichanga were 285 pieces of indigenous timber were found.
The timber was seized while Chembe, Malichanga, Kaime, Mwenya and Katuta were apprehended and later taken to Samfya Police Station.
In mitigation, Chembe pleaded for lenience saying he is married and he is a breadwinner of the family.
In passing judgement, Magistrate Mtonga said he was lenient to the accused by fining him K10, 000 in default to six months imprisonment with hard labour.