A 47-year old man has been sentenced by the Kalabo Subordinate Court to three years imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful hunting in Liuwa Plain National Park.
And the firearm which was unlawfully used in respect of the poaching offense has been forfeited to the State in accordance with the law.
Appearing before Magistrate Mulele Siisii was Shadow Mushiko Mabote of Lukondondo village in Chief Mundandwe’s area of Kalabo District.
During close examination, the accused pleaded guilty to three counts leveled against him.
In Count One, the accused was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm serial number 3988848 contrary to Section 10(1)(2) of the Firearms Act CAP 110 of the Laws of Zambia.
In Count Two, the accused was charged with unlawful possession of ammunition contrary to Section 10(1)(2) of the Firearms Act CAP 110 of the Laws of Zambia.
In Count Three, the accused was charged with unlawful hunting in the National Park contrary to Section 128(9) of the Wildlife Act No. 14 of 2015 of the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offense are that the said Mabote was on the 20th March 2019 at Lyeule woodland in Liuwa Plain National Park, Kalabo District of Western Province, had in his possession a shotgun and two live ammunition while hunting game animals without legal documentation allowing him to do so.
And in mitigation, Mabote submitted to the court that the act he committed was circumstantial in a bid to provide for his 11 biological children and five adopted orphans affected by hunger.
The accused asked the court to be lenient on him saying he was a first offender taking care of three school children in grades 6, 8 and 9 under his sponsorship.
In passing judgment, Magistrate Siisii said the court had taken note of the mitigation submitted by the accused especially that he was a first offender taking care of an extended family.
Magistrate Siisii however ruled that the offense committed was serious and therefore required a fair sentence.
Magistrate Siisii sentenced Mabote to a penalty fee of K500 and K1, 000 in Count One and Two, respectively, and in Count three slapped him with three years’ imprisonment with hard labour.
The Magistrate said the sentence has potential to deter would-be offenders from committing the acts thereof.
Meanwhile, the prosecution bench has made an application to forfeit the firearm serial number 3988848 to the State.
Counsel Mwilana said the application was in accordance with Section 54(2)(a) of the Firearms Act CAP 110 of the Laws of Zambia.
Magistrate Siisii had since granted the application and subsequently ordered that the firearm be forfeiture to the State.