The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has arrested an Anglican clergyman with 40 kilogrammes of ivory in the western district of Kabarole in Uganda.
Reverend Ben Baguma from Ntoroko Rwenzori Diocese becomes the second religious leader to be apprehended in just two months after another reverend was arrested in Bundibugyo when he was found to be in possession of illegal ivory.
Prior to his arrest, Rev Baguma had allegedly gone to Rwimi to buy this illegal ivory from the poachers. He however denies this, saying that he was only found at the scene with poachers, some of whom he said were his relatives. He claimed he had gone there to bury a relative.He however admits that the person he shared a room with, one Mwesigwa, had informed him about the illegal ivory deal.
According to Uganda Wildlife Authority enforcement officer Moses Olinga, the reverend was tracked through his phone and was found in Rwimi town with Mwesigwa.
The enforcement officer explained that Muhereza Kamuhangire, in whose home the illegal ivory was found, is a known poacher in the village, who is suspected to also be gun owner. He said that different methods of trapping elephants are being employed, including the use of guns.
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