By Wainaina Ndung’u and Judy Ogutu
Justus Njuguna Ngari admitted cutting five cypress trees from Kabaru section of Mt Kenya Forest on April 20 without a permit from the director of the Kenya Forest Services (KFS).
The prosecution lead by Inspector George Ayua told Nyeri Chief Magistrate Wilbroda Juma that Ngari was in the company of another man not before court when they were accosted by KFS officers on routine patrol.
The two attempted to flee but Ngari was arrested and five posts worth Sh20,000 recovered .
It was after the facts were read in court that the accused told the magistrate: “I wanted to fence off animals from my shamba. They had eaten all my crops overnight.”
But the magistrate told him the law was an ass: “Mitigation is noted but the forests are protected by a law which is not lenient.”
In the same court, a woman was sentenced to three months imprisonment or pay Sh40,000 fine for brewing chang’aa without a license.
Mary Kiragu admitted committing the two offences of brewing and selling the brew at Kamakwa village in Nyeri town on May 1.
Mr Ayua said an informer led police officers and the area assistant chief to the compound of the accused and found 10 litres of the brew in two five litre jerricans. She failed to produce a mandatory licence required under the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010.
“The changaa was about four litres. They added water,” the accused had earlier told the magistrate and pleaded not guilty.