By Mariam Namakula
Two residents of Kamwenge district in Rwamwanja refugee settlement have been sentenced to twelve years in prison for killing a bush buck.
Presiding over the case on Wednesday 30 June, the acting chief magistrate Her Worship Joy Nambozo ordered that the two Sabanitah Habimana and Augustine Sobomaana spend 4 years in jail for illegally entering into a protected area and 12 years in jail killing a protected wild life species.
The criminals were on Monday 28 of June arrested by one of the Uganda wild life personnel inside Katonga wild life reserve
According to the Uganda Wild Life Authority, these were found in possession of a dead bush buck, two pangas, sharp spears and eight wire snares that were used to kill the animal.
The two pleaded guilty to the counts on appearing before the magistrate.
Latif Amir, one of the prosecutors, argued that the two had deprived the wider public and the national economy of the benefits of conservation including among others tourism, employment and foreign exchange earnings.
Amir also noted that the court needed to send a clear signal to the public to desist from such criminal acts especially that the tourism sector was seriously hit by the global pandemic, COVID-19.
Currently, UWA is still grappling with illegal hunting for bush meat, poaching for ivory and trafficking supply chains which originate from communities near wildlife habitats. This prompted the authority to put in place four units comprising of law enforcement, intelligence, investigations and prosecution to combat crime.
These were also supported by the National Wildlife Crime Coordination Task Force comprised of 13 different ministries and security agencies to build synergies of the institutions involved in the fight against illegal wildlife trade, formed last year.