Makueni: 4 Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Possession of Elephant Tusks

Four men, Joshua Mwengea Mwanzia, Mashuba Ivuti, Tito Munguti, and Muema Kamuti who were arrested in June 17, 2018 have been sentenced to five years in prison for possession of two elephant tusks valued at Sh1.6 million in Makueni County.

Senior Principal Magistrate Benson Ireri delivered the verdict, which also included a fine of Sh1 million each.

The four were arrested following a tip from a local to the Kenya Wildlife Service officers about a group of individuals in Kibwezi township seeking potential buyers for elephant tusks. Throughout the trial, the prosecution, led by Catherine Ngari, presented compelling evidence, securing a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

The defendants were charged under Section 92(2) as read with Section 105(1) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013, for dealing in wildlife trophies of an endangered species without proper authorization.

Demand for ivory remains high, particularly in the East, driving poaching activities across Africa. Despite the international ban on the ivory trade, African elephants are still facing significant threats from poachers.

Kenya has adopted advanced surveillance measures, including the deployment of drones, to monitor and protect elephants and rhinos. Moreover, collaborative efforts involving Kenya Wildlife Service and various stakeholders aim to eradicate wildlife crimes, with a focus on intensified community education, interagency cooperation, and intelligence-driven operations.

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