Tanzania: Two Jailed 20 Years Over Elephant Tusks

A RUVUMA resident and his friend from Morogoro Region have started serving a 20-year sentence after being found guilty of possessing government trophies.

Maxmilian Mwenda (58) from Lilondo Village in Madaba Council and Rashid Migoha (58) alias Mwendomchanja from Ifakara in Morogoro Region were on Friday convicted by the Songea District Court.

The court found them guilty of possessing 12 elephant tusks worth 129m/-. The judgement was passed by Magistrate Clefasi Waane, who is in charge of the court after finding both of them guilty of the offence on two grounds.

The prosecution was led by State Attorney Hamimu Nkoleye assisted by Mr Justin Ndyanabo from Wildlife Management.

Two jailed 20 years over elephant tusks It was alleged that on November 10, 2016 at Lilondo Village in Madaba Council, Songea District, the accused were found in illegal possession of 12 elephant tusks valued at 129m/-.

It was also alleged that the charges were read for the first time at the court on November 21, 2016 in an economic case No 8/2016. The accused, represented by defence counsel Edson Mbogoro, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

During hearing, the accused were set free and were later rearrested.

The case was reopened as an economic case No 5/2017 after obtaining a permit from the High Court.

During trial, the prosecution presented six witnesses, including an official from Wildlife Management in Madaba Council, Mr Emmanuli Nyanda.

In his testimony, Nyanda informed the court on how they were tipped by an informant that the accused were at Lilondo Village looking for a customer to whom they would sell the elephant tusks.

The two were arrested with 12 elephant tusks in Mwenda's house and taken to Madaba Police Station and later to court.

The prosecution asked the court to impose a tough penalty considering the fact that poaching was illegal and the accused knew that it was an offence to illegally possess elephant tusks and that it would deter other members of the public, who were thinking of involving themselves in illegal acts.

After hearing submissions from both parties, the magistrate passed the sentence and ordered for the elephant tusks to be handed over to the responsible authorities.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily News

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.