The Mpanda District Court in Katavi Region has sentenced Jackison Eijuel, 52, a resident of Katumba Refugee Settlement to 30 years in jail including paying a Sh99 million fine after he was found guilty of being found with four tusks and four pieces of elephant tusks.
The government trophies, which are equivalent to three elephants, are valued at Sh90 million. The sentence was passed on Wednesday, December 20, by the court’s Magistrate-in-Charge Chiganga Ntengwa after being satisfied with evidence given in court by the prosecution, whereby the convict had no witness.
Reading the sentence, the magistrate said the accused, who was once a Burundi national and recently granted Tanzania citizenship, admitted to committing the offence contrary to Section 235 of the Criminal Proceedings Act.
The magistrate said after listening to the defence of the accused the court had proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused was found guilty of being found with elephant tusks contrary to the country’s laws.
Earlier, a prosecutor, who is a state lawyer, Flaviani Shiyo, alleged in court that the accused committed the offence on October 25, this year, at about 20:30pm in Urwila Village, Nsimbo Division in Mpanda District.
Mr Shiyo told the court that the accused was caught by anti-poaching officers of Ugala Forest after getting information about the accused taking part in the illegal trade of elephant tusks.
The prosecutor told the court that after the officers got the tip, they set a trap and managed to arrest the accused with four elephant tusks and four pieces of elephant tusks, equivalent to three live elephants. The impounded government trophies weigh 27 kilos and worth Sh99 million.
In his defence, the accused asked the court to set him free because the elephant tusks he was found with were not his, but they belonged to someone he named Hussein Samora, whom he accused of sending him to fetch the tusks by using his (the accused) motorcycle.
After the defence and before the sentence, the state lawyer, Mr Shiyo, asked the court to mete out severe punishment to the accused so it could serve as a lesson to others, saying poaching acts were increasing in the region.
Passing the sentence, the magistrate, Ntengwa, said the accused had been found guilty based on Section No. 235 of the Criminal Proceedings Act hence the court was sentencing the accused to a 30-year-imprisonment including paying the Sh99million fine.