Tanzania: Two Jailed 40 Years Over Ivory Rip-Off


Faustine Kapama, Tanzania Daily News

Date Published

Two poachers, Gidamis Giyamu, alias Hamis, and Petro Kilo, alias Kinangai and Nanga, have been sentenced to a total of 40 years or pay a fine of over 900m/- for being found with four pieces of elephant tusks without a permit.

Resident Magistrate Ally Mkama, sitting before the Karatu District Court, convicted the two accused persons in two separate cases they were facing after being satisfied by the evidence produced by prosecution witnesses. State Attorney Felix Kwetukia, for the prosecution, had called five witnesses in each case to prove the charge against the two convicts.

He also tendered several exhibits, including the certificates of seizure, trophy valuation certificate, detention register and the elephant tusks. Both convicts opted to go to jail having failed to pay the fine.escape the custodial sentence of 20 years, while Kilo had to pay 290,172,000/- if he was to avoid the same jail term.

During the trial, the prosecution had told the court that Giyamu committed the offence on December 23, 2012, at Oldean area within Karatu District, where he was found in unlawful possession of two pieces of elephant tusks weighing 70kg, valued at 60,791,500/-, property of the government.

The court heard that on December 23, 2012, a complainant, one Cosmas Kireti, who is a conservator from Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), and his team found one dead elephant with its tusks removed or taken away at Lake Manyara National Park. Upon finding the said elephant carcass with tusks removed and getting information that there were some people transporting elephant tusks, the conservator and other officers laid a trap at Oldean area near Darajani within the district and saw the accused person carrying a loaded ‘salfeti’ bag.

The accused person was ordered to stop and on being searched was found with two elephant tusks. He was asked if he had any licence allowing him to possess such government trophies, but he had none. He was subsequently arrested and charged with economic sabotage.

On part of Kilo, the prosecution had told the court that he committed the offence on January 11, 2013 at Lake Manyara National Park within Karatu District, where he was found with two pieces of elephant tusks weighing 34kg valued at 29,172,000/-, the property of the government.

It was alleged that on the material day, while some officers of the national park were on patrol, they saw four people with some luggage and ordered them to stop.

But they disobeyed the order and instead and started to run away. The officers pursed them and managed to arrest the accused person, who was found with the two pieces of elephant tusks.

When asked whether he had any license allowing him to possess such trophies, the accused had none. He was arrested and taken to the police before being arraigned.