A Narok court today imposed a fine of Sh15, 000 or two months’ imprisonment to a man who pleaded guilty of cutting down cider trees at the Maasai Mau Forest.
John Njehia pleaded guilty of possessing a power saw, a panga, eight litres of petrol and one litre of engine oil at the Sananguru part of the Maasai Mau forest.
However, his co-accused Simon Kimotho pleaded not guilty and was remanded at the Narok GK prison awaiting the case to be mentioned on Monday January 11, 2021.
The court heard that the two were arrested by Kenya Forest Service (KFS) officers manning the forest on January 5, 2021 at 4.am having felled one tree.
“The officers heard the sound of an axe and when they walked deep into the forest for two hours, they met the two men who were cutting cider trees using a power saw,” explained the court Prosecutor Antony Karanja.
Karanja said the two did not have a permit from the ecosystem conservator to cut trees and were arrested and taken to Naisoya police camp for questioning.
They appeared before Narok Chief Magistrate George Wakahiu who noted that the first accused was convicted over his own plea of guilty while the second accused would be remanded as he awaits his mention and hearing dates in court.
The prosecutor pleaded with the court to direct that the offenders forfeit all the tools nabbed in the incident to the State after the case is concluded.
By Ann Salaton