By Nelson Kiva in Kyankwanzi
Kiboga court has fined 84 people from Gomba district found guilty of hunting and killing wild animals in Kyankwanzi district.
The suspects were arrested on Wednesday at Gala village in Rwengajju parish, Kyankwanzi sub-county in an operation by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials and UPDF in conjunction with Kyankwanzi police.
On Wednesday evening, the suspects were produced before the Kiboga court Grade One magistrate Mastullah Mulondo who delivered a fine against them after they all pleaded guilty on entering plea.
Prosecution told court that at the time of arrest, the suspects had already killed antelopes, bushbucks and ducks.
Court also heard that during the arrest, the authorities recovered 77 spears, 44 pangas, 66 nets, 29 dogs, six knives and a Fuso lorry registration number UAS 818W that all were arraigned in court as exhibits.
The poachers, who all pleaded gulity and begged for leniency, were caught with several sacks of game meat.
The suspects asked for lenience on grounds that they had families to look after, pledging not to repeat the act.
They told court that they had been sanctioned by authorities in Gomba district to come and hunt down the wild animals in Kyankwanzi district.
In her ruling however, magistrate Mulondo noted that the convicts looked repentant and they did not waste court’s time.
She then fined each individual sh50,000 for each count, failure of which to pay would result into a four-month imprisonment at Kiboga government prison.
Peter Ogwang, the head of operations at UWA said that they were tipped off by locals.
He said cases of poaching are rampant in Kyankwanzi district, citing a similar incident in June, 2011 where some 10 hunters were arrested at Kabale village in Kyankwanzi sub-county.
They were charged and imprisoned eight months by the then Kiboga court chief magistrate, Suzan Kayange.