Sunday, 28 April 2013

Court jails two for poaching

The Magistrate’s Court in Amuru District has sentenced two men to four years imprisonment each for killing an elephant in a national park and selling its ivory. Richard Odong and Ismail Canogura, all residents of Latogoro Village in Nwoya District, pleaded guilty to killing the elephant.
The duo were sentenced to one year in prison for each of the four charges including illegal entry into the national park, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of the ammunition and illegal trading in wildlife products.
Trial magistrate explained that the punishment was based on the magnitude of the offence. The court heard that the convicts were arrested by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) game rangers in Pakwach Town, Nebbi District after they shot dead an elephant at Tangi Valley in Murchison Falls National Park and took its tusks.
Prosecution told the court that the convicts hired the gun from a civilian in Oyam District, who has since gone into hiding. Mr Canogura also confessed to court that he had killed 10 elephants in three years.
Sentences commended
The court at a separate session also sentenced another poacher, Isaac Kirama to four years in prison for illegal entry into Murchison Falls National Park, illegal possession of firearm and illegal possession of 60 rounds of ammunitions with an intention to kill an elephant.
Ms Lillian Nsubuga, the UWA spokesperson, commended the court for the sentences, saying they would serve as a deterrent to would-be poachers. She said poachers had previously been given light sentences. “They would be given very light sentences of one month or fined Shs100,000 which they would pay and immediately go back to the park,” she said.
She appealed to police and the Judiciary to continue working with the wildlife authority. “We hope that heavy sentences will reduce the rate of poaching. We are going to target the market and manufactures of wire snares and traps for arrest because they are the ones providing equipment for poaching,” she added.

No comments:

Post a Comment