The Mazabuka Subordinate Court has sentenced two ivory traders to seven years imprisonment each with hard labor after they were convicted of unlawful possession of 107 kilograms of ivory contrary to the laws of Zambia.
Joseph Mulyata, 41, and Mark Mukanya, 49, were arrested on 6th May 2019 by officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife following a tip from concerned members of the community who suspected that some people were selling the ivory.
Ministry of tourism and arts public relations officer Sakabilo Kalembwe – confirmed this in a statement availed to one love radio news, that the suspects were jointly charged with unlawful possession of elephant ivory, weighing 107kgs contrary to section 130 (2) of the Zambia Wildlife Act No.14 of 2015.
“When the matter came up in Court, the duo pleaded not guilty to the charge, but after a lengthy trial that took over two years, the Court convicted and sentenced Mulyata and Mukanya to seven (7) years imprisonment with hard labor while another unnamed who was co-accused was acquitted as the court found no evidence linking him to the offence”, he said.
Mr. Kalembwe has also discouraged people from engaging in wildlife crime, stating that Courts across the country are handing notorious wildlife criminals prison sentences above the minimum.