Ivory Criminals Sentenced To 5 Years in Jail
Progress has been made in the fight against poaching this week with the Chipata, Mambwe and Petauke magistrates’ courts handing a five-year prison sentence to five offenders who appeared at courts in Chipata, Mambwe and Petauke. They were all charged with unlawful possession of a trophy – specifically four cut pieces of ivory weighing 9kg, 10.5kg and a pangolin skin.
In a statement issued by Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer Sakabilo Kalembwe, in Chipata, the Court has convicted and sentenced Joseph Nkhoma, 54, to five years imprisonment with hard labour after he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a prescribed trophy, namely four cut pieces of ivory weighing nine kilograms, contrary to section 130 (2) of the Zambia Wildlife Authority Act No.14 of 2015.
In Mambwe, the Magistrate Court has convicted and sentenced three men to five years imprisonment with hard labour each also for having a pair of ivory weighing 10.5 kilograms, contrary to section 130 (1) ZWA Act No.14 of 2015.
“Emerson Banda aged 38 was convicted first, following his plea of guilty while his co-accused, Sanford Muhande (28) and Gideon Chulu (30) pleaded not guilty but were later convicted due to overwhelming evidence against them…the trio was nabbed in Mfuwe,” Kalembwe stated.
In another case, the Petauke Magistrate Court has convicted and sentenced a 55-year old man to five years imprisonment with hard labour for illegal possession of a pangolin skin contrary to section 130 (1) of the Zambia Wildlife Act No.14 of 2015.
“Zakeyo Zulu was apprehended in Petauke District by officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) who found him with the skin and scales of the protected animal,” Kalembwe stated.
Many have praised the courts for cracking down on poachers more aggressively, especially in light of recent warnings that Zambia’s natural resources are under increasing pressure.