The Chipata Magistrate Court has sentenced a 34 year old man of Chinula village in Chief Chanje’s area to five years imprisonment with hard labour, on one count of being in possession of four pieces of ivory, weighing 43 kilograms.
Facts before the court are that James Mbewe aged 34 and Gilbert Banda aged 33 years, on September 6th 2017, were found with four pieces of prescribed trophy, Ivory without the certificate of ownership, issued by the director of Department of National Parks and Wildlife, as required by the law.
James Mbewe admitted the charge while Gilbert Banda denied.
The two were apprehended by officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, in Mgubudu area.
In mitigation, Mbewe asked the court to exercise leniency as he is taking care of orphans.
Resident Magistrate Boniface Mwala said the court had heard his mitigation and that he is a first offender who readily admitted the charge.
He however, said the offence that the convict committed is serious.
He then sentenced him to five years with effect from his arrest and advised him to appeal to the high court within 14 days if he is not satisfied with the court’s ruling.
And Magistrate Mwala has set October 2nd 2017, as date for commencement of trial in the case of Gilbert Banda who denied the charge.