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18 years jail term for killing rhino

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CONFIRMED—Sauka

Dowa Principal Resident Magistrate Muhammad Chande has meted a custodial sentence of 18 years on 41-year-old Mapondera M’mora for killing a rhino.

M’mora killed a rhino in Liwonde National Park without authority in July 2017.

“The horn of the rhino was found in the house of the suspect, who by that time had bolted. The AK 47 rifle that was used for committing the offence was also recovered,” said Eastern Region Police spokesperson Joseph Sauka.

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He further said M’mora was apprehended in February 2021, after being on the run for close to 43 weeks.

“M’mora was charged with seven counts: Entering into a protected area without authority; conveying weapons into a protected area; killing a wild animal in a protected area; illegal possession of specimen of an endangered species; dealing in government trophy without authority; possession of a rifle; and possession of ammunition without a licence.

M’mora pleaded guilty to all the seven charges.

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State Prosecutor Levi Mangani asked the court to impose a heavy sentence on the convict, arguing that wildlife attracts tourists who bring forex into the country.

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

After weighing arguments from both sides, Chande ordered that M’mora be imprisoned for 18 years.

The convict comes from Likulungwa Village, Traditional Authority Chowe, in Mangochi District.

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