Court Sentenced Two for 8 years in Prison over Killing Lions


The utilities, wildlife, and standards court in Kampala sentenced two men to the punishment of years and 7 months in prison. The two men we found guilty of killing 6 tree climbing lions at Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

These Vincent Tumuhirwe, a farmer, and Robert Ariyo, a Boda Boda rider both from Kanungu district, were on Thursday sentenced by the court presided over by the Chief Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu following their conviction on five charges last week.

Among the charges, 3 are entering a protected area without permission, hunting wild animals in a wildlife conservation area without permission, and killing wild animals and protected wildlife species in a wildlife conservation area without permission.

Magistrate Kamasanyu convicted the two saying, the prosecution adduced evidence from 13 witnesses who proved beyond a reasonable doubt, that the two entered the park through Habugombwa Kob Mating ground Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kanungu district. The two are involved in hunting and killing six climbing lions and ten white vultures with poison.

The court heard that the evidence proved sufficiently that Ariyo and Tumuhirwe were found in possession of four heads of lions, fifteen legs of lions, one tail of a lion, and a three-liter jerrican of lion fats without a valid wildlife use right.

The said illegal activities occurred within a radius of 5.4 kilometers inside the national park where the lions were found decomposing with some of their body parts missing in the protected area.

Kamasanyu indicated that the crimes are rampant in this country, saying that in 2018 eleven lions were killed and their killers have not been found to date.

It was terrible and gross for the two men to hunt and kill the innocent lions from a protected place where they are expected to be safe and most especially in a country like Uganda where it is known that lions are not edible, she added.

The magistrate also noted that the killing was not justifiable and the news about the incident was not only disturbing to Uganda. It also to the world at large and especially to tourists who have been contributing largely to the economy by visiting the park which is the only one in the country with lions.

Kamasanyu has further ruled that the pride of the lions was curtailed, having only one lioness left amidst four male lions saying it will be difficult for them to grow and multiply.

According to Kamasanyu, this kind of character shows how dangerous the convicts are and how they are most likely to be cruel to humans as well.

“I heard that you have children but because of your character, you have the high potential of raising murderers,” said Kamasanyu.

Also read;

Court Sends a Congolese National to 7 years Imprisonment for Wildlife Tracking

With her judgment, Kamasanyu sentenced the convicts to five years in jail on the first four charges and handed them eight years, seven months on the fifth offense of killing wild animals and protected wildlife species in a conversation area without permission.

According to the magistrate the sentence will be served concurrently.

The chief magistrate made a 10-year sentence to the convict, but after deducting the two years spent on remand, she made a conclusion judgment of 8yrs.

State Attorney Joan Keko has requested a maximum punishment of life imprisonment for the convict saying the lions alone contributed hundreds of millions of shillings in form of tourist attractions that were brutally and mercilessly killed.

However, the convicts on their side had requested for a lenient sentence as they have families with children to look after, and they are also first-time offenders.

The court considered both requests before making it arrived at the decision of 8 years imprisonment.







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