1.Christopher Kimatu Waita, the Applicant, was arrested and charged with the offence of dealing in wildlife trophy of an endangered species without a permit or other lawful exemption contrary to section 92 (2) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013.
2.He pleaded guilty to the charge to the charge on 16th November, 2020. The facts of the case were presented to court on 26th November, 2020. The facts show that on 13th November, 2020 at around 11.00am, Kenya Wildlife Services Officers from Kajiado Station led by Officers Abdi and Yegon received a tip off about suspected persons at Namanga in possession of elephant tusks and transporting the same in sacks to unknown place within Namanga town. They were informed that the suspects were walking on foot along Amboseli/Namanga Road each carrying tusks in sacks.
3.The officers laid an ambush and arrested the suspects at around2.00pm and recovered 3 pieces of elephant tusks weighing approximately 7 kilogrammes. The tusks were certified as elephant tusks and were produced as exhibits together with an inventory prepared by the officers.
4.The accused admitted facts as correct. He was found guilty on his own plea of guilty and convicted. He was sentenced to serve 10 years imprisonment.
5.Through a Chamber Summons filed on 17th March, 2022, the Applicant moved this court seeking reduction of sentence on grounds of age and serious illness. His grounds in support of the Chamber Summons are contained in the Affidavit sworn by the Applicant. The grounds are mixed up, badly drafted and difficult to understand. With a lot of difficulty, I understand the Applicant to be seeking reduction of sentence due to age and illness. The Affidavit in support of the Chamber Summons does not state what age the Applicant is nor does it show what ailment he is suffering from, if any.
6.He states that he is deeply remorseful and repentant and that he regrets his actions; that he has reformed and capable of integrating with society as a better person.
7.I have noted that the Applicant in his mitigation to the trial court did not show remorse. He told the court that he is the one who informed the KWS officers about the elephant tusks and they told him that he will be a prosecution witness but they turned against him.
8.I have noted that the Applicant was 41 years at the time of sentence. There is no indication that the Applicant suffers from any ailment.
10.The Applicant was sentenced to serve 10 years imprisonment. The offence is a serious one given that this country’s elephant population is under threat of poaching. These animals are an endangered species. They are targeted because of the tusks, a lucrative prohibited item. An offence of this nature should not be taken lightly. Sentences for this nature of crime should be deterrent, if only to ensure that the elephants are safe from get-rich-quickly persons who have no qualms from dealing in trophies of this nature.
11.I have considered this matter. Given the sentence provided under Section 92(2) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, and given the sentence meted to the Applicant, it is my considered view that it is not excessive. The applicant has not shown any reasons why this court should interfere with the sentence meted out by the trial court. I find this Application lacking in merit. I hereby dismiss the same and order that the Applicant continues serving the sentence passed by the trial court.
12.Orders shall issue accordingly.