Boy appears before court over illegal entry into Game Park

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A14-year-old boy yesterday (Thursday) survived being thrown into jail for illegal entry into Murchison Falls Game Park in Nwoya District.

The boy, whose identity is concealed because he is protected by the law for being a juvenile delinquent, was arraigned before court together with Charles Keober, 25, to defend themselves against illicit entry into a protected area.

The two are fishermen and residents of Mubogo Village in Pakwach Town Council, Pakwach District.

Prosecution told court that the teenager and Keober were on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, arrested at Bunga-kaal within Murchison Falls National Game Park.

Appearing before the Nwoya Grade One Magistrate, Ms Susan Anyeko, the duo pleaded guilty to the offence.

Reading her verdict, the magistrate cautioned the juvenile but sentenced Keober to a two-year-jail term to Pader government prison.

“Since the juvenile is still very young, this should go as a warning to him never to repeat the act of entering the conservation area,” Ms Anyeko read.

Ms Anyeko said that Keober’s two-year-jail sentence should serve as a deterrent to reduce the rampant poaching which continues to threaten the tourism sector-one of the leading contributors to Uganda’s economy.

“With this tough ruling, it will send a strong warning to those that still intend to enter Murchison Falls National Game Park to carry out poaching,” Ms Anyeko added.

The law

Entering a conservation area without permission is contrary to Section 30(1) of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Act 2019 and attracts a maximum of 10 years imprisonment or shs7m fine if found guilty.

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