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Six-year jail term for two people found with elephant tusks

By ALEX NJERU
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Two people have been jailed for six years after they were found guilty of being in possession of five pieces of elephant tusks weighing 15kg in Tharaka-Nithi County.

Lawrence Mugambi Irungu and Erastus Mugambi, who were arrested with the tusks on February 26, 2017 in Kibumbu, Chuka town, have an alternative of paying a fine of Sh2 million each.

The two were charged with two counts of being in possession of wildlife trophies and dealing with wildlife trophies relating to endangered animals.

LENIENT JUDGMENT

The prosecution called six witnesses among them Kenya Wildlife Service officers, a warden and police officers investigating the case.

In their final mitigation, the two pleaded with the court to give a lenient judgment considering the period that they have been in remand and the fact that they are parents and the sole bread winners of their families.

Mr Mugambi added that his wife is disabled and is not able to support the family alone.

However, Senior Resident Magistrate Mwanamkuu Sudi said considering that not less than two elephants were killed, the two had to serve six years in prison or pay the fine. “This is putting into consideration that elephants are engendered species,” said Ms Sudi.

She ordered that a motorbike the two were found using to carry the tusks remain in the government’s custody.