Man sentenced to 8 years for illegally entering wildlife-protected area
The Chief Magistrate’s court sitting in Kamwenge has sentenced Matsiko John Vian to eight years in jail for entering a wildlife-protected area without permission upon his own plea of guilty.
Matsiko, 24 years old was arrested by UWA personnel on January 17, 2023, while fishing along River Mpanga inside Queen Elizabeth National Park.
He was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Kamwenge on a charge of entering a wildlife-protected area without permission to which he pleaded guilty.
State Prosecution told the court that wildlife generates revenue for the government and that there is a need to protect Uganda’s flora and fauna. The prosecution further argued that keeping people like Matsiko away for a long time may help wildlife to multiply and generate more revenue.
Kamwenge Chief Magistrate His Worship Kule Moses Lubangula concurred with the prosecution saying that it is the duty of the court and state to protect the country’s flora and fauna by deterring offenders from destroying wildlife for sustainability.
He sentenced Matsiko to serve 8 years in jail.
According to UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha, it is not the intention of the authority to see people go to jail but once people break the law, they have to be dealt with according to the law.
“We want to live in harmony with community members, we continue to sensitize them about wildlife crimes and associated penalties so we request people not to get themselves into conflict with the law,” said Mr Mwandha.
He appealed to the public to desist from getting involved in all forms of wildlife crime.