Thursday, April 18, 2024

Three fined K120, 000 each for entering into a national park illegally

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Three Itezhi Tezhi fishermen have been fined K120,000 each after they pleaded guilty to unlawful entry into the national park.

Mwenda Simasiku, David Shafunaula and David Shashikobe of Masemu in Itezhi Tezhi district in Southern Province, were charged with illegal entry into the national park, contrary to sections 18(1) and 136(a) of the Zambia Wildlife Act No. 14 of 2015.

Particulars of the offence were that on 9th March 2023, the three jointly and whilst acting together entered Kafue National Park number 11 in Itezhi Tezhi district without a park entry permit.

According to facts presented in court, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) police officers were on March 9, 2023 on duty conducting patrols on Lake Itezhi Tezhi, where they apprehended the three accused persons who had no park entry permit.

The three were then taken to Ngoma headquarters where they were interviewed, charged and arrested for the subject offense.

Under warn and caution statement administered to them in Nyanja, the language each person understands better, the gave free and voluntary reply admitting the charge.

Public Prosecutor, Luckson Ngoma, told the court that the three fishermen had no justification to enter the park without authority.

In mitigation, Simasiku said he entered the park based on his employer’s assurance that he had paid for permits while Shafunaula asked for leniency and pleaded with the court to consider community service as opposed to custodial sentence.

Meanwhile, Shashikobe asked for leniency saying that he is looking after his grandmother who depends on him.

“I have taken into account that you are first offenders who deserve leniency, but the offences you committed are very serious, so I need to punish you,” magistrate Mugala Chalwe said when sentencing the three offenders.

Magistrate Chalwe said a number of offenders that have been given community sentence have abused it.

“They report for two days and then disappear, so because of this, this court will not put people on community service for these offences but give them custodial sentence when they fail to pay a fine,” magistrate Chalwe said and ordered each person to pay K120, 000 cash, in default three months in prison.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Three months in prison or K120 000. That’s about K40,000 per month For my freedom. I’d rather finish the 3 months in prison.

  2. Seems to me that this is an offense that only requires a warning. They didn’t steal anything and no actual crime was committed here.

  3. We need to amend the law. Entry fee into a National Park is way below the K120,000 they have been charged. These are some of the colonial laws still on our books

  4. Colonial laws ? what nonsense !!
    This is to protect our parks and future heratige for future generations..
    These fishermen have virtually stripped all the fish from most rivers in Zambia

  5. Meanwhile white people live in our national parks on a permanent basis, looting our wildlife, selling our lions to their fellow whites to kill, harvesting our ivory, and helping themselves to our precious stones. The Lozis and Ila people arrested for this should have refused to pay, and taken this to court, and pointed out the Lozi and the Ila had owned the land where the Kafue National Park sits centuries before Zambia came to be.

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