The Lundazi Subordinate Court has sentenced a wildlife offender to six years imprisonment for illegal possession of prescribed trophy and another one to six months for illegal possession of a fire arm.
In a statement issued by Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer, Sakabilo Kalembwe, the court sentenced Lubinda Lay, 43, to six years imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of three pairs of Ivory, and Moses Nyirongo, 36, to six months imprisonment with hard labour for illegal possession of a firearm.
“The Lundazi Subordinate Court has jailed two wildlife offenders for being in illegal possession of prescribed Trophy and an unlicensed fire arm. The Court has convicted and sentenced Lubinda Lay,43-year old man to six years imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of three pairs of ivory, contrary to section 130 (a) of the Zambia Wildlife Act No.14 of 2015,” Kalembwe stated.
“The suspect, a mid-level ivory illegal dealer, middleman between poachers and kingpins who has been on the Department of National Parks and Wildlife’s wanted list, was finally apprehended with the contraband in Phikamalaza’s area. In another case, the court convicted and sentenced Moses Nyirongo, 36, to six months imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of a firearm contrary to Section 10 of the Firearms Act, Chapter 110 of the Laws of Zambia.”
Kalembwe stated that continued poaching was leading to the extinction of some animal species and that the scourge was denying the country economic development.
“Illegal wildlife activities especially poaching according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is pushing many species to the brink of extinction. According to recent surveys conducted by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) with the Support of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and International Crane Foundation (ICF), species like the Kafue Lechwe population that stood at 28,711 in 2015, now stands at 23,306 animals,” stated Kalembwe.
“The indiscriminate poaching of elephants and other wildlife in a threat to the environment and to Zambia’s economic development as it denies the country maximum benefits from sustainable tourism.”