Rumphi magistrate’s court Rumphi has convicted and sentenced Vuka Mkoloma Mtete to six years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for killing a Hippopotamus in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve.

Mtete was slapped with additional charge of setting fire in a protected area which is against Section 38 of Parks and Wildlife Act of 2004 (Amendment) and that earned him 12 months IHL.

The two sentences will run concurrently.

State Prosecutor Senior Superintendent, Christopher Katani pleaded with the court to give Mtwete stiffer punishment to deter other would be offenders also considering that he was not the first offender.

In mitigation, Mtete pleaded with the court to exercise leniency, saying he looks after his family that giving him a stiffer penalty would make his dependents suffer.

Mzuzu based Chief Resident Magistrate, Texas Masoamphambe observed that Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve is a protected area and it is the responsibility of every Malawian to protect all species of plants and animals because they attract revenue through tourism.

Mtete, 45, comes from Mkoloma Village, in the area of Traditional Authority Chikulamayembe in Rumphi district.

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