A 34 year old artisanal miner’s ignorance landed him in trouble this week as he was slapped with a $200 fine by Kwekwe Magistrate for indiscriminately cutting down trees.
Jazwell Hatinawedu had initially defaulted to pay a $250 fine issued by the Forestry Department in November last year.
On the 8th of November 2018 Hatinawedu vandalized Allan Austin’s five indigenous trees, the matter was reported to Nyashadzashe Chikogora a forestry department.
On the 15th of November last year, Hatinawedu was arrested and given a fine of $250 for exploitation of the forestry, hence the fine was due on the 26th of March 2019 and he did not pay.
He was later summoned to court in April 2019 and he pleaded guilty though he defended himself by saying he thought it will not matter as he cut the trees in his property in preparation of mining.
“My mine is located in Marchbell Farm, l find no wrong in cutting down the trees as l wanted to practice shaft mining,” he said.
Magistrate Vimbai Mtukwa in passing sentence said that either the trees where situated in his mine or in Allan Austin’s Farm which the mine happens to be located in, it is still an offense to cut down trees may it be indigenous or exotic trees.
Hatinawedu was ordered by the court to pay a fine $200 before the 10th of May 2019 or failure of which he will spend 60 days in jail.