Machinga Court Slaps Man With 7-Year-Jail Term For Poaching Elephants

A 38-year-old man, James Mwara on Friday was convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment with hard labour for poaching and killing elephants for ivory.

Mwara was slapped with five counts of entering into a protected area, entering into protected area with a weapon, killing protected animals, found in possession of ivory, and selling of ivory without a licence.

Some of the hunted elephants

Some of the hunted elephants

State prosecutor, Senior Superintendent Dickens Mwambazi told Machinga Magistrates Court that they arrested Mwara following a tip off that he was keeping ivory and he was selling them.

Police officers and Game officers posing as buyers, managed to arrest the convict and seized six pieces of ivory weighing 42 kilograms.

The recovered ivory is valued at K58 million kwacha and the three killed elephants were valued at K105 million, according to Convention on International Trade for Endangered Species.

Mwara pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against him, and in mitigation he asked for a fine or serve community service punishment for he is a bread winner looking after four orphans.

Police requested the court for stiffer punishment on the accused as cases of such nature are becoming rampant in Machinga district especially in areas along Liwonde National Park.

Chief Resident Magistrate, Agness Patemba said giving Mwara a stiff sentence will deter would be offenders.

Patemba sentenced Mwara to two years imprisonment for entering into a protected area, two years imprisonment for entering into protected area with a weapon, seven years imprisonment for killing protected animals, six years for possessing ivory, and six years for selling ivory.

The sentences to run concurrently.

James Mwara hails from Amidu village, Traditional Authority Liwonde in Machinga District.

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