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Congolese national remanded over unlawful possession of parrots

African grey parrot

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court has remanded a Congolese National to Luzira prison for unlawful possession of protected species.

Kabongo Mbaya was arraigned before the court on Thursday presided over by the Chief Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu. He was charged with importation of wildlife specimens and unlawful possession of protected species contrary to the Uganda Wildlife Act of 2019.

Court heard that Mbaya on April 14, 2022 in Kibaya village, Bunagana town council, Kisoro district imported 122 African Grey Parrots from the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC through Bunagana border into Uganda without a valid permit.

He has also been charged with being in possession of two wooden boxes that contained the parrots without a valid life user right.

Mbaya pleaded guilty to the charges and was remanded until May 11, 2022, for the state prosecutors to provide a brief summary of the case before he can be convicted.

Mbaya was arrested on April 16, 2022 in an operation by the Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA, Uganda People’s Defence Forces, and the Uganda Police Force in Bunagana town council. This followed reports that there was a suspected trafficker who wanted to sell the parrots to people in some parts of Western Uganda.

Mbaya’s case was first registered at Kisoro police and later transferred to Kampala. The parrots have since been released at the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Centre-UWEC.

If found guilty, Mbaya will face a life imprisonment sentence as far as the Wildlife law is concerned.

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