SUSPECTS PLEADED GUILTY

Court orders release of motorbike used to ferry dik-diks, wildlife trophies

It will be returned to its owner, who had nothing to do with the offence or the case.

In Summary

• Pendo Kaviha told the court that she owns the motorbike, but was not a party to its use in the crime.

• Garsen senior principal magistrate Paul Rotich ruled that the prosecution, led by Collins Orwa, accepted her explanation and forgave her.

Some of the dik-diks that were being ferried using motorbikes in Tana River county
Some of the dik-diks that were being ferried using motorbikes in Tana River county
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
Suspects who were found with 140 dik-diks in Tana River county
Suspects who were found with 140 dik-diks in Tana River county
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
Garsen Law courts where the suspects were convicted
Garsen Law courts where the suspects were convicted
Image: ALPHONCE GARI

A Garsen court has ordered the release of one of the motorcycles that was used to ferry over 140 dik-diks and other wildlife trophies.

The motorcycle will be returned to its owner, who had nothing to do with the offence or the case.

This was after the suspects – Charifu Ngala Mwagandi, Kingi Charo Kadenge and Baraka Thoya – pleaded guilty to the offence and were sentenced to 15 years in jail or each pay a fine of Sh1 million.

Pendo Kaviha told the court that she owns the motorbike, but was not a party to its use in the crime.

Garsen senior principal magistrate Paul Rotich ruled that the prosecution, led by Collins Orwa, accepted her explanation and forgave her.

“In the circumstances, I have no option but to order the release of motorcycle registration number KMCX 071Q to Pendo Kaviha,” the magistrate said.

Rotich, however, declined to order the release of three other motorbikes, two of which the owners are known. The owner of the third is yet to claim it.

He ordered the owners of the other two – Zawadi Kahindi Masha and Nyundo Thoya – to appear in court and demonstrate why their motorcycles should not be forfeited to the state.

“Notice should also be issued by the court registry to the owner of the motorcycle, which has not been claimed to also show cause why the same should not be forfeited to the state,” Rotich ruled.

The ruling was meant to clarify whether the motorcycles were to be forfeited to the state or be returned to the owners.

In the case, Mwagandi, Kadenge, Thoya and others not before the court were charged with transporting carcasses of wild animals and game meat on July 6, 2021.

They were found with 130 dik-dik carcasses, 10 dik-dik meat, one porcupine meat, three gerenuk carcasses and 130 dik-diks heads.

They were being transported on four motorcycles at Didi Mabule area in Tana River county.  On the second count, they were charged with killing 140 dik diks, one porcupine and three gerenuks without a permit.

The accused were also charged with being found in possession of wildlife trophies.

Edited by A.N