Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate court on Friday August 14, 2020 convicted and sentenced Matola Ishmael 41, to 3 years imprisonment with hard labour for contravening section 110(b) of National Parks and Wildlife Act.
During court proceedings Eastern Region Police headquarters Prosecution Officer Assistant Superintendent Josophine Chigawa told the court that, Police received a tip from members of the general public that Ishmael was selling the hippo teeth. Following the tip, Ishmael was arrested on the evening of August 2, 2020 and was found with Nine pieces of Hippopotamus teeth.
Prosecutor Chigawa added that, the Hippopotamus was killed by the National Parks and Wildlife officers after villagers complained that the dangerous animal was destroying farm produce around the area.
Mangonchi Police Deputy Public Relations Officer Amina Tepani Daudi says as a routine it takes a week to remove the teeth when a hippo is killed and Ishmael took advantage of the situation after he was sent to handover the teeth at National parks office.
Appearing in court the accused person pleaded guilty to the charge.
In mitigation Ishmael asked for court’s leniency saying that he is the only breadwinner to his family. However, the state prayed for a stiffer penalty adding that such cases are rampant in the area.
When passing judgement Senior Resident Magistrate Joshua Nkhono concurred with the state and sentenced him to 3 years imprisonment with hard labour to deter would be offenders.
Matola Ishmael comes from Dimu village in the area of Traditional Authority Chowe in Mangochi.