Itezhi Tezhi Magistrates court has convicted and fined a 42-year-old fisherman a total of K240 for unlawful entry in the national park.
Before court was Clifford Kalaluka of Chawama Compound in Itezhi Tezhi district in Central Province who stood charged with two counts.
The first count was unlawful entry into the national park while the second count was having unlawful possession of weapons in the national park.
In count one, particulars alleged that on 25 January 2019 in Itezhi Tezhi district of Central Province , Kalaluka did enter into the national park without authority from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW).
In count two particulars are that on the same day in the Itezhi Tezhi district, Kalaluka did possess weapons namely two fishing nets, paddle and dugout canoe.
Facts were that on January 25, 2019 officers from the department of national park and wildlife were on duty patrolling the Kafue National Park when they came across the now accused who was paddling a canoe.
Officers introduced themselves and requested him to produce papers that authorized him to be on the lake but had not done so.
Kalaluka was then apprehended and later arrested and charged with the subject offence.
When the matter came up for plea, Kalaluka pleaded guilty and was convicted upon his own admission.
In mitigation, Kalaluka pleaded for maximum leniency saying that he has six children and looking after his 93-year-old father.
However, magistrate Magistrates Keggan Litia said while he considered Kalaluka’s mitigation, he was sentencing fining him K 120 on each offence or serve three months in default to discourage would be offenders.
“Laws restricting entry into national park exist to preserve wildlife, to achieve sustainable hunting and promote tourism, if illegal hunting goes unchecked, we will deplete our wildlife and posterity will judge us, ” Magistrates Litia said in passing sentence.
He then ordered him to pay a fine of K120 for each of the offence totaling to K240, in default he will serve 3 months simple imprisonment for each count and they shall run consecutively.