Man Jailed Eight Years For Illegal Entry into National Park

The Chief Magistrate’s Court in Kamwenge has sentenced a man to eight years in jail for entering a National Park without permission.

Vian John Matsiko, 24, a resident of Nkongoro parish, was arrested by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) personnel last month while fishing along River Mpanga inside Queen Elizabeth National Park.

While sentencing Matsiko, the Kamwenge Chief Magistrate Moses Lubangula said that it is the duty of court and the state to protect the country’s flora and fauna by deterring offenders from destroying wildlife for sustainability. He later sentenced Matsiko to 8 years at Kamwenge Prison.

The UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha said that it is not the intention of the authority to see people jailed but once they break the law, they have to be dealt with in accordance with the law.

The UWA Public Relations Officer Bashir Hangi said that under the regulatory resource access arrangement, communities that neighbor the parks are given days when they are allowed to enter wildlife protected areas to collect firewood. He urged people to desist from getting involved from all forms of wildlife crime.

According to the UWA act section 30 and 70 when one is guilty of  illegal entry into wildlife protected areas is liable to more than 10 years in jail.   

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