Conservationists query 1-year jail term for traffickers


Natural Resource conservation Network in collaboration with Uganda Wildlife Authority and Police arrested three people upon receiving information of them being in possession of 45kgs of Ivory ready for transaction around Karuma On 2nd March 2016.

The arrested, were in possession of mature elephant Ivory were Ayoma Nicholas, Alyon Stephen and Kazomi Abibu, all residents of Ayuela village Kiryandongo District.

Muhindo Laban, the Media Assistant, Natural Resource Conservation Network, says the three appeared in Kiryandongo Grade one Magistrate and Ayoma Nicholas was handed 8-month jail term on the first day of their appearing while the remaining two(Alyon Stephen and Kazomi Abibu) were yesterday 19th April handed 1 year jail term or pay a fine of 500,000 each.

This comes at a time when NRCN is still appealing against 8-month jail term handed to Ayoma Nicholas.

The offender is liable to a fine of not less than one million shillings or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years or both; and in any case, the fine should not be less than the value of the specimen involved in the commission of the offence.

“So we are appealing against these sentences because they are too small compared to the offence committed.”

Uganda as a sovereign State prohibited any dealing in wildlife species and specimens without permission and specifically prohibits possession, trade, import, export, re-export and re-import of wildlife products and species including ivory.

Elephants are listed among the highly endangered wildlife species under the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to which Uganda is party and bound by the resolutions.

Although poaching still remains a threat to wild life in Uganda and neighboring countries, there are strong efforts between the Police, NRCN and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and other entities, to curb the vice and protect Uganda’s wild species.

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