THREE people have been sentenced to 40 years each after they were found guilty of two offences of unlawful possession and dealing with government trophies, which were five pieces of elephant tusks.
The sentence was imposed on Friday by Principal Resident Magistrate Rose Ngoka at the Lushoto District Court in Tanga after convicting the three on the aforementioned offences contrary to Section 86(1) of the Wildlife Conservation Act, No. 5 of 2009.
They are Hassan Kashamba, Eliudi Andrew, and Godson Kitau, who will serve the sentence as each offence carries a 20-year penalty.
Prosecuting, Senior State Attorney Peter Kusekwa, assisted by Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) prosecutors Samwel Magoko and Flavian Kalinga, told the court that all three convicts were arrested on June 20, last year, in the Hekcho area located in Manolo village in Lushoto District.
Advocate Kusekwa elaborated that the convicts, despite being found with five pieces of elephant tusk worth over 104 million dollars, they were also arrested with two King lion motorcycles with registration numbers MC 152 CCQ and MC BWQ that were used in assisting in committing the crime.
Following the sentence, Flavian Kalinga, the TANAPA prosecutor, asked the court to seize the two motorcycles so that it would serve as a lesson to others thinking of committing similar offences. Speaking after the judgment, prosecutor Samwel Magoko urged people with evil intentions to stop poaching that leads to such penalties and instead protect natural resources for the current and future generations.
“Therefore, people should engage in decent incomegenerating activities and earn decent money, avoid getting in trouble with the law, and also look after the environment for future generations,” he said.
Adding: “Actions like this hold back the efforts of the government, which is struggling to ensure that the tourism sector increasingly stimulates the country’s economy.”