September 16, 2017
Godfrey Ssali, The Independent
See link for photos.
Kampala, Uganda: Police in Fort Portal Kabarole District with help from Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) has arrested 8 people while in possession of 20.5kgs of elephant tusks worth 8.2 million shillings.
Namara Turyamureba, Mugume Morris, Byamugisha Edward, Byensi Michael, Twinomujuni Alex, Musinguzi Enoch and Balinda Edward were all arrested in possession of wildlife trophies (Elephant Tusks) while a UPDF soldier Mugenyi Alex 27 years attached to 29 brigade, stationed at Kavera under 309 battalion in Hima Kasese district and resident of Nyabweya village (Service Number RA230159) was arrested for providing the gun that was used to kill the elephants in Kibale National Park.
According to Private Mugenyi Alex (UPDF SOLDIER), Namara Turyamureba and Twinomujuni Alex contracted him to kill an elephant at a fee of one million Uganda shillings. According to Mugenyi, the two sold the elephant tusks but he never got paid.
UPDF soldier Mugenyi Alex
Mugenyi said that it was in the month of July 2017 when the two contracted him. He allegedly told them that it was difficult to move out of the barracks with a gun but the two assured him that they would find a gun from another person. After one week, Namara and Twinomujuni called him and when they met, Twinomujuni was having a gun an SMG Rifle with 3 rounds of ammunition.
According to Twinomujuni and Namara, they got the gun from another UPDF soldier called Henry Masiko. Unfortunately Masiko died three weeks ago of natural causes.
The suspects are currently being held at Kampala Central Police station where questioning is continuing and they will be arraigned in the wildlife court at Buganda road.
According to the Natural Resource Conservation Network Head of Legal and Prosecution Massa Leonard said the Seven (8) will be charged with; unlawful possession of a protected species contrary to Sections 30 and 75 (b) of the Uganda Wildlife Act CAP 200 which provides for the offence of unlawful possession of protected species and the punishment is a fine of not less than 1m or not more than 5 years imprisonment and in any case the fine must be not less than the value of the wildlife product involved.
He added that they will also be charged with hunting and killing a protected species contrary to section 20 of the Uganda Wildlife Act, illegal entry in the Park contrary to section 21 of the same Act and Conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to section 390 of the Penal Code Act.