THE Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) in Mumbwa has apprehended a notorious poacher who is believed to be behind the killing of a number of elephants in the area while working with four of his colleagues in Mumbwa’s Kaindu area.
ZAWA public relations officer Sakabilo Kalembwe told the Daily Nation that the poacher, only identified as a Mr. Sichone was cornered by a combined team of ZAWA officers and community scouts early this week.
Mr. Kalembwe explained that Mr. Sichone had been terrorising elephants in game management areas in the Kafue National Park and that he had killed a lot of elephants in the area.
“ZAWA, working with Kaindu community scouts has apprehended a notorious elephant poacher only identified as Sichone with four others in the Kaindu area of Mumbwa district. The suspect was found with four shot guns, 11 rounds of .375 ammunition, and assorted game meat. Mr. Sichone has been at the centre of elephant poaching in the open areas of Mushingashi, Kaindu and Lunga Luswishi game management area,” he said.
Mr. Kalembwe said Mr. Sichone was not new to poaching activities as he was previously arrested and given a five year sentence to which he was on bail pending an appeal for the sentence he was slapped with.
“At the time of arrest he was on bail pending appeal on a case of elephant poaching where he was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Recently Mushingashi game ranch lost a number of elephants and ZAWA intensified the search for the perpetrators, which culminated into this arrest,” he said.
Meanwhile, ZAWA has recovered one fresh pair of elephant tusks weighing 5.9 kilogrammes, one shotgun and one live shell in Sioma Ngwezi.
The ZAWA officers recovered 22 by 7.62 ammunitions but the suspects managed to escape.
The operation took place 15 kilometres from the Sioma-Ngwezi Area Management Unit offices along the elephant corridor of Kaale last week.
And Mr. Kalembwe said ZAWA was happy to be associated with stakeholders such as the Kaindu Community Game scouts and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) which has sponsored the training of scouts to help in curbing poaching in Game Management Areas (GMAs)
“ZAWA continues to benefit from working with other stakeholders such as Kaindu Community Game ranch scouts. TNC at the moment is sponsoring the training of 78 community scouts who will support ZAWA in the GMAs.
“The Nature Conservancy has been sponsoring law enforcement activities in the Kafue ecosystem for the past five years. We would like appeal to the courts to seriously consider denying bail to certain suspects especially for habitual offenders in wildlife crimes.’’