A man who was facing charges of possessing a jumbo carcass and owning an elephant ivory has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for each of the two offences.
Lobulu Mapengo, who was arrested last year at Mto-wa-Mbu ward, Monduli District, appeared in court for the first time in August 2015.
He was caught and charged last July alongside his accomplice, one Saigura Melita, but the latter apparently managed to escape in November 2015 while being treated at Mount Meru hospital and is still at large. Mapengo had to face court action alone.
The two were also found with a rifle, number 458, and a jerry can both of which were impounded by the state. The judgement of the case number EC.43/2015 was delivered by Resident Magistrate Augustine Rwizile.
The two 20 year’s jail terms go together and the convict will only serve 20 instead of 40 years. The elephant tusk, described in legal terms as government trophy and which the two were caught with besides the jumbo carcass, is reported to be valued at 31, 233,900/-
The sentence comes with two options, the first is for the accused to serve 20 years in jail and the second is for him to pay the cash penalty of ten-times the value of the trophy in this case 312 million/-.
Magistrate Rwizile charged the accused under section 86 of the Wildlife Conservation Act number 5 of 2009, which restricts any person from being in possession or dealing or selling any type of government trophy, including elephant tusks.
Advocate Paul Anyango is the state attorney specializing in wildlife and poaching offences. He said these cases were on the increase in the northern zone which is also the epicenter of conservation and tourism industry. Defending attorney, John Msau, was absent on the day of the judgement, late last week.