The Mkushi Magistrate Court has sentenced a 48 year old man of Mkushi’s Nshinso area to three (3) years imprisonment for game trafficking offences.
Magistrate Stanley Sinyangwe sentenced John Phiri to three years for unlawful hunting in, unlawful possession of Government trophy and unlawful possession of ammunition.
Phiri was sentenced after the court found in the first count that he had violated Section 67 sub section (b) and (c) of the Zambia Wildlife Act number 12 of the 1998 Laws of Zambia, by unlawfully hunting in an open area.
In the second count, Phiri was found to have violated Section, sub section 1 and 2, and Section 135 of the Zambia Wildlife Act number 12 of 1998 Laws of Zambia, for unlawful possession of Government trophy.
Phiri was also convicted for violating Section 10, sub section 1 and 2, of the Firearm Act number 10 of the Laws of Zambia for unlawful possession of ammunition.
Magistrate Sinyangwe sentenced Phiri to 2 years imprisonment for the first Count, as well as 3 years each for the other 2 Counts, explaining that the prison terms would be served concurrently.
He explained that Phiri would serve a total of 3 years to encompass all the Counts concurrently as he was a first offender who had pleaded guilty to the charges.
Meanwhile, MkushiZambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Officer in Charge Dickson Mwamba appealed to residents of Mkushi and Luano districts to work closely with ZAWA in the efforts to conserve wildlife.
Mr Mwamba said that it is important for residents and Game Ranchers to support ZAWA’s efforts to protect wildlife which is a key factor in boosting the tourism industry.
He warned that ZAWA would not relent in the enforcement activities of protecting wildlife against poaching and game trafficking, saying that the department was determined to enforce the law despite facing major challenges such as transport logistics.
Mr Mwamba implored residents of the two districts to seriously consider the appeals from ZAWA as they are in tandem with national development.