THE Chipata High Court has sentenced a 44-year-old traditional doctor of Mambwe District to 5 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for being found in possession of a tortoise shell and zebra skin among others.
Lusaka Judge Timothy Katanekwa who is sitting in Chipata jailed Zikhalo Jere of Kondanani village in Mnkhanya’s area who stood charged with three counts of unlawful possession of prescribed trophy.
Jere, who has five wives and 13 children committed the crime on January 24, 2020.
In count one, Jere was found with a prescribed trophy namely, a piece of ivory weighing 2 kilograms without certificate of ownership issued by the director of National Parks and Wildlife.
In the second count, Jere was charged with unlawful possession of Zebra skin and in count three he was charged with unlawful possession of skin tail of a giraffe, two pangolin scales and one tortoise shell.
In mitigation, Legal Aid Counsel Sally Bwalya said Jere was the offender who readily pleaded guilty to all the three counts.
Bwalya said Jere was remorseful for his action.
She said Jere has five wives and 13 children, seven of whom where in school.
Bwalya said Jere was a sole breadwinner of his family and that he earns his living as a traditional healer and farmer.
She said while in prison, the convict had time to reflect on his actions and has vowed to be a law-abiding citizen if given a second chance in life.
Judge Katanekwa said he considered what was said in mitigation that the convict was remorseful.
He hoped that the conviction and the sentencing will be the life changing experience for Jere.
Judge Katanekwa jailed Jere five years in each of the three counts and that they will run concurrently.
Credit: Breeze FM