Two men from Rwamwanja refugee settlement in Kamwenge District have earned themselves 12-years-in jail for illegally entering a protected area and killing a bushbuck. The acting Kyenjojo Chief Magistrate, Joy Nambozo sentenced Sabanitah Habimana and Augustine Sobomaana after finding them guilty on both counts.
She handed them four years for illegal entry into a protected areas and 12-years for killing a bushbuck. She, however, said the sentences are to run concurrently. Trouble for the duo started on 28th June 2021 when they were arrested by Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA rangers inside Katonga Wildlife Reserve.
Prior to their sentence, the prosecution led by Latif Amis, told the court that the convicts were found in possession of a carcass of a bushbuck, two machetes, spears and eight snares they used to kill the animal.
The prosecution argued that the two deprived the wider public and national economy of the benefit of conservation and asked the court to give them a deterrent sentence to send a clear message to the public to desist from such acts. The two pleaded guilty to the charges.
In her ruling, Nambozo sentenced them to a fine of 100 currency points equivalent to Shillings 2,000,000 million or four-year jail term for illegal entry in a protected area and 10,000 currency points equivalent to Shillings 200,000,000 million or 12 years in jail for killing protected species.
Bashir Hangi, the UWA Public Relations Officer, says that illegal hunting for bushmeat and poaching for ivory are some of the wildlife crimes that the tourism sector is grappling with.