A 37 year old man of Kaundula area in Luano District has been fined K1,000.00 by a Mkushi Magistrate Court and slapped with a suspended sentence of 24 months imprisonment in default for unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Magistrate Stanley Sinyangwe ordered Wesley Matapo to pay K1,000.00 in the first count for unlawful possession of a Shotgun without a license.
In the second count he was slapped with a suspended sentence for two years imprisonment for possession of eight rounds of ammunition.
Facts before the Court are that Mr. Mutapo was found with a handmade shotgun and eight rounds of ammunition when he was apprehended by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Officers in the Game Management Area(GMA) of Chingombe.
In passing judgement, Magistrate Sinyangwe said that the court had exercised leniency on the accused as he was a first offender who had readily admitted to the Charge.
The Magistrate also added that the accused was not found with game meat when he was apprehended, but had been found with an unlicensed firearm.
In a related development, Mkushi District ZAWA Officer in Charge Dickson Mwamba said that his department will intensify patrols to curb the rampant poaching and illegal trafficking of game meat.
He attributed the rampant poaching to increased illegal gold mining activities in Mboroma and Mboshya Chiefdoms which has attracted an influx of people in the areas.
Mr. Mwamba said that his department had been studying the pattern of settlers in this regard, saying that the poaching and settlement activities had begun compromising the GMA of Mboshya and Mboroma.
He appealed to authorities from the Ministry of Mines to quickly intervene in the illegal gold mining activities in the area.