A court in Liwonde has sentenced a rhino poacher to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL).
The Magistrates Court, sitting at Liwonde, has sentenced Mapondera Mmora, aged 41years of Likulungwa Village,TA Chowe in Mangochi District, to 18 years imprisonment for killing a rhino in Liwonde National Park in 2017.
Full details of the matter are that Mapondera, along with others entered Liwonde National Park in 2017, armed with an AK47 assault rifle and killed a rhino which was called Jabesi.
Unknown to the poachers, the horn was fitted with a transmitting device.
When rangers, while on patrol, discovered that Jabesi was dead, a manhunt was launched, in an operation which saw law enforcement employ the use of a helicopter and ground troops.
The operation managed to locate the horn and arrest the suspect who was keeping it.
He was jailed for 18 years.
At this time, Mapondera went missing and has been on the run.
A few weeks he returned from hiding and Law Enforcement immediately detected his presence and he was arrested.
He pleaded guilty to all 7counts of :Illegal entry, Conveying a weapon, Killing a listed species, possession of listed specimens, dealing in government trophy, illegal possession of listed species and illegal possession of the firearm and ammunition.