Lion Killers remanded to Kitalya Prison

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Lions resting in Queen Elizabeth national park in Western Uganda; Courtesy Photo

Two people said to have poisoned 6 lions in Queen Elizabeth National park have been charged and sent on remand for killing wild animals and for being found processing protected species.

The four; Vincent Tumuhiirwe, a peasant of Kanungu district and Robert Ariyo -a bodaboda rider were on Thursday arraigned before Buganda Road court and charged with 5 counts including Entering and hunting in a protected conservation area, killing wild animals and being in possession of protected species.

These committed the offences on the 19th/March 2021 at Habugombwa camp mating ground in Queen Elizabeth National Game park.

The duo has been remanded to Kitalya government prison until the 14th April to receive their respective sentences by Chief Magistrate Miriam Okello Ayo.

The accused pleaded guilty to 4 offences but denied one count where prosecution from the Uganda Wild Life Authority states that they killed 6 lions. However, the suspects claim to have only poisoned 4.

However, the 2 men have explained to court that it was accidental as they were not targeting the 4 tree climbing lions but rather ten wild pigs.

On April 14th, prosecution will also exhibit in court, the 4 heads of dead lions, a lion tail, 15 lion legs and a 3 three -litre jerrycan containing lion fats which were found with the suspects on arrest.

The four suspects risk life imprisonment if convicted of the charges according to the law.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority Act stipulates that a person convicted of offences relating to protected species that are prescribed as extinct in the wild, critically endangered or endangered, shall be liable to life imprisonment or to a fine not exceeding 10,000 currency points or both.

One currency point is equivalent to 20,000 and in this case, if convicted the suspects may also be fined to shs200 million.

Lions are classified as vulnerable or critically endangered species.

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