Two magistrates, 3 others arrested for illegal possession of govt trophy
By Staff Reporter
The Livingstone Magistrate Court has sentenced two magistrates and three others to seven years each with hard labour for illegal possession of rhino horns.
Choma Principal Magistrate Exnobert Zulu who was sitting in the Livingstone magistrate court said that it was difficult to preside over a matter where officers of the court were involved in a criminal activities.
Magistrate Zulu said the insatiable appetite for money in the country was worrying and had potential erode the trust people had in the judiciary.
This is in a case where Elvis Siakachoma, 44, Active Tambo, 46, who are both senior local court magistrates, David Mununga,66, an estate agent, Mwala Mwendanei, 39, and Sydney Mulenga, 31, both businessmen, are charged with one count of unlawful possession of prescribed trophy, contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
Facts before court are that on October 3 this year in Livingstone, the five suspects were allegedly found with two pieces of rhino horns weighing 7.125 kilograms.
Magistrate Zulu has also ordered that the cost of the operation by the department of National Parks and Wildlife and police leading to the arrest the five be recovered.
He said all the tools that were used in the commission of crime have also been forfeited to the state adding that the two vehicles – a white Toyota Corolla and a Toyota Vitz which were conditionally forfeited to give chance for the owners to apply and show that they had no idea of the crime.