The four, identified as Arnold Zimba, Stevia Mfula, Lawrence Mwila and Morgan Chewe were charged with disturbance and unlawful possession of biological resources contrary to the Environmental Management Act.
This is according to a statement by Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) principal information and communications officer Irene Chipili in Lusaka yesterday.
“Facts before the court are that the offence was committed between May 26 and May 31, this year in Mpika district. Before senior resident magistrate Francis Sonkolo were the four who pleaded guilty to the offence and were on June, 19, sentenced to two years imprisonment each with hard labour,” the statement reads.
The truck which the convicts used to transport the illegally-harvested timber has been forfeited to the state.
In the same court, Webster Mwachunga and Ken Fundakwa pleaded not guilty to charges of trading and unlawful possession in any component of biological resources contrary to the provisions of the Environmental Management Act or any other written law. Trial will commence on July 7 in the Mpika Magistrate’s Court.
ZEMA implored members of the public to report cases of suspected illegal timber trading and possession to law enforcement agencies.
Zambia Daily Mail