Two people found illegally transporting 120 bags of charcoal with a street value of Sh 96,000 without a permit have been fined Sh 50,000 each or, in default, serve six months in prison by a Kabarnet court.
John Wambugu and Rhoda Wanjiru were accused that on July 21, 2023, at around 7 p.m. at Labos Block 4 area in Marigat Sub County, they were found transporting the said charcoal using a White Lorry Registration no. KDC 898R Isuzu FRR without a movement permit from Chief Conservator of Forest.
The accused were convicted of transporting the forest produce without a licence, an offence that is contrary to the Forest Conservation and Management Act of 2016 in Kenya.
The suspects who were apprehended by officers from Marigat police station were placed under custody at the station on the same day.
In mitigation, second-accused Wanjiru, while appearing before Principal Magistrate Caroline Ateya on Monday, pleaded for leniency, claiming that she is a single mother and sole breadwinner of four children, two of whom are adopted orphans.
The first accused, Wambugu, also appealed to the court to forgive and acquit him as he was the sole breadwinner for his family, which included his two children and himself.
Wambugu also requested that the court order that the impounded lorry be given back to him, claiming it was still the property of a bank after he used it as security for a loan that he was still servicing.
The Principal Magistrate ordered the state’s seizure of the 120 bags of charcoal.
Ateya further gave Wambugu 14 days to come up with valid reasons as to why the vehicle should not also be forfeited.
The case is set for a mention on August 7.
By Gloria Cheboi and Joshua Kibet