By Faustine Kapama, The Daily News
Manyoni District Court in Singida District, has sentenced two poachers, Juma Ramadhan, alias Kibangula to 160 years and Thadei Antony, alias Ndahani to 80 years imprisonment for unlawful dealing in and possession of government trophies and firearms.
Resident Magistrate Stella Kiama imposed the sentence after convicting the duo of several economic offences. The magistrate convicted the poachers after being satisfied with the testimony given by prosecution witnesses. During the trial, the prosecution was represented by State Attorneys Salim Msemo, Patrida Muta and Tulumanywa Majigo.
Kibangula was facing a total of eight counts, two of them of unlawful possession of firearms, three others of unlawful possession of weapons in certain circumstances and three other charges of unlawful dealing in government trophies. The magistrate sentenced him to serve a custodial sentence of 20 years for each count.
On his part, the prosecution had charged Ndahani with a total of four counts, two of them related to unlawful possession of government trophies, while two others were for unlawful dealing in government trophies. As was the case for Kibangula, the magistrate also sentenced Ndahani to 20 years imprisonment in each count. However, Magistrate Kiama ordered the sentences imposed on the two poachers to run concurrently.
This means that the two will remain behind bars for 20 years each. In addition to the sentence, the magistrate also ordered the confiscation by the government of the firearms and the trophies, which are one greater kudu, one elephant and one sable antelope, as well as one piece of lion skin and one piece of ratel honey budger.
On September 15, 2017 at Kipili Village area within Sikonge District in Tabora Region, Kibangula was found in unlawful possession of one rifle and one muzzle loader barrel without a license, which raises a reasonable presumption that he used the same to kill wild animals.
Such animals, the property of the United Republic of Tanzania, includes one greater kudu valued at 2200 US dollars, which is equivalent to 5,016,280/-and one elephant tusk valued at 15,000 which is equivalent to 34,200,000/-.
The prosecution had told the court that Ndahani committed the offences on October 2, 2017 at night hours along Bahi- Dodoma Road, within Bahi District in Dodoma City. It was alleged that the poacher was found without a permit from the Director of Wildlife in possession of or dealing in government trophies, which are one piece of lion skin obtained from one lion valued at 4,500 US dollars, which is equivalent 10,290,000/-.
Another government trophy found is one piece of ratel honey badger valued at 300 US dollars, which is equivalent to 630,000/-. The trophies, according to the prosecution, are properties of the United Republic of Tanzania.