The Grade 1 Magistrate’s court of Kyegegwa District presided over by Mukanza Kakaru has sentenced Mugabemwe God 40 years of age, a resident of Kiregyesa village, Kyejonjo District to 10 years in prison, or pay a fine of seven million Uganda shillings for killing a red colobus monkey. The case was prosecuted by Uganda Wildlife Authority’s Reuben Ngene and Resident State Attorney of Kyejonjo Akatakunda Kakuru.
On 30th June 2020, Mugabemwe God, a 40-year old resident of Kiregyesa village, Kyenjojo district was found in possession of the leg of a red colobus monkey. The accused was found carrying this leg by a Uganda Wildlife Officer Warden Education & Awareness, Baryagaruka Julius along Fort Portal-Kampala highway who upon notice arrested him and handed him over to the Kihura police post for prosecution. In the due course of the hearing, Mugabemwe confessed to have killed five colobus monkeys together with his colleagues still at large.
Uganda Wildlife Authority’s legal counsel Ali Luzinda applauded courts for expeditiously handling the case to its conclusion. “This will send a clear signal to those recklessly killing wildlife to think twice about their actions. The new wildlife law is very critical on wildlife offenders. Communities are advised to desist from poaching or engaging in any illegal killing of the wild animals,” Luzinda emphasized.
Uganda’s forests are a stronghold for the endangered red colobus monkey. The red colobus is distinct from other monkeys as it has a rust-red cap with a dark grey to black face. They have very long dark to light brown tails which they rely on for balancing when leaping through the treetops. The males weigh around 10.5 kg and are much larger than the females who weigh 7 kg. They live in groups of 30-100. They eat a diet composed almost completely of leaves and have a specialized stomach similar to a cow to digest these high-fiber foods.