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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Governor’s Press Service
March 20, 2018

Charcoal Ban: Kitui court fines Six drivers

SIX Charcoal dealers were today fined a total of Sh. 300,000 by a Kitui Court for transporting charcoal in defiance of an existing ban.

It is the first time that charcoal transporters are facing justice in the courts since Kitui Governor Kaluki Ngilu imposed the ban in January.
The accused- Muteti Munyoki, the driver of lorry Registration Number KBK 653T  carrying130 bags, Joseph Nderitu- KBU 227W with 200 bags, Alexander Mutisya- KAW 188G with 150 bags, Mutua Mwololo- KBY 656F with150 bags, Richard Maina- KCF 324T with 150 bags and Alex Mugambi-KCH 272Z, carrying 150 bags, pleaded guilty before Mwingi Senior Resident Magistrate Grace Kirungumi.
They were convicted on their own plea of guilt and slapped with a fine of Sh. 50,000 each or one year imprisonment in default. The magistrate also ordered they forfeit the 930 bags of Charcoal, to Kitui County Government.
The bags were seized from six lorries, which were arrested on March 14, 2018 at Ukasi in Mwingi Central by Ukasi OCS  Chief Inspector Karisa, County Enforcement officer Mr. Elijah Kolite and County Environment Inspector Mr. Isaiah Mutunga. 
Governor Ngilu has vowed to press on with the ban despite a move by her Kiambu counterpart Ferdinand Waititu to sue her for allegedly targeting traders from his community
She also received Summons from the National Cohesion and integration Commission Chair Mr. Francis Ole Kaparo to answer charges on alleged incitement. But when she appeared before the commission, she was ambushed with different allegations from charcoal traders.
Mrs. Ngilu's ban on charcoal and sand harvesting  has since acted as a wake- up call to other counties and the country  as a whole on the raging effects of climate change following the depletion of forest cover across the country,
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has also issued a three year ban on the same.
The war on deforestation was taken up by the National Government, where Mr. Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet  Secretary of Environment and  Deputy President William Ruto banned logging in Mau Forest and other areas, which has since seen more than 20 loggers arrested.

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