The Liwonde Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has sentenced Mapondera M’mora, 41, to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour for game offences.

Mmora was being accused of killing a Rhino in Liwonde National Park without authority.

The offence was committed in July 2017. The Rhino horn was found in the house of the suspect, who by that time had bolted.

The AK 47 rifle that was used in committing the offence was also recovered.

However, Mmora was arrested in February, 2021.

Upon his arrest, M’mora was charged with seven counts; entering into a protected area without authority, conveying weapons into a protected area, killing of wild animal in a protected area, illegal possession of specimen of an endangered species, dealing in Government trophy without authority, and possession of a riffle and ammunition without license.

He pleaded guilty to all the seven charges.

The state prosecutor Levi Mangani (SACP) asked the court to consider giving the convict a stiffer sentence. He said wildlife attract tourists who bring forex to the country which in turn benefit the masses.

In mitigation, M’mora prayed for a lenient sentence, saying he was a first offender and that he has a family to look after.

Passing sentence on March 15, 2021, Senior Resident Magistrate Muhammad Chande slapped M’mora with 18 years imprisonment with hard labour.

M’mora comes from Likulungwa Village, Traditional Authority Chowe in Mangochi district.

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