The Chinsali subordinate court has sentenced a 51-year-old poacher to seven years imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of 9.5 kilogrammes (kg) of ivory.
Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer Sakabilo Kalembwe said in a statement to ZANIS today that officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife in Chama district nabbed and arrested Jurious Sakala 51, of Mukhonka village in Chama district, on November 15, 2020.
Mr. Kalembwe said being in possession of ivory illegally is an offence contrary to section 130 (2) of the Zambia Wildlife Act number 14 of 2015 (ZWA 2015) which states that a person who is in possession of, sells, buys, imports or exports or attempts to sell, buy, import or export a prescribed trophy in contravention of this Act is liable, upon conviction.
He said in addition to the ivory, the National Parks and Wildlife officers also found Sakala in possession of bullets and gunpowder.
Meanwhile in passing sentence, the court bemoaned the increase in wildlife related cases.
The court observed that poaching is depleting the country’s natural resources and reduces elephant populations in the country.
The court further noted that elephants play an important role in maintaining the health and biodiversity of ecosystems and also provide opportunities for supporting local communities’ livelihoods through legal ventures such as tourism, which depends on thriving elephant populations.