Kampala Pastors Arrested in Ivory Trafficking

Police in Kampala is holding two Pentecostal pastors and a Congolese national suspected of being animal traffickers.

The three were arrested on Monday in a village around Busabalala Road in Namasuba parish, buy information pills Makindye Division, cure Kampala after they were found in possession of 13 kilograms of Ivory, order 17 kilograms of pangolin scales and 8 pangolin horns.

The operation was mounted after a tip-off from concerned persons at the neighbourhood who said they knew that the ‘men of God’ were dealing in illegal wildlife trade.

According to reliable sources, the three suspects were demanding a total sum of Shs70 million for the merchandise from a businessman who, according to the police, is currently on the run.

Pangolin Head that was found with the pastors in Namasuba parish
Pangolin Head that was found with the pastors in Namasuba parish

Police further revealed that the pastors lead a born again pentecostal church which is based in Nansana, Wakiso District.

According to officials from Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN), is a Non-Governmental Organisation that deals in the conservation of wildlife in the country, the three are suspected to have been carrying out the illegal trafficking business from Kampala and other neighbouring districts and selling the animal products to countries such as China, Vietnam and some other Asian countries where there is demand.

Kampala Central Police Station Criminal Investigations Officer, Chris Ahimbisibwe identified the suspects as; John Kiiza, 34, Christopher Kato, 50 and Prince Kazanga, 48, who is a Congolese national.

“We have found animal materials in one of their houses that suggest that the three suspects are part of a transnational gang that is dealing in ivory in the country,” he said.


“This is an indication that almost five elephants, four pangolins were killed to get the animal trophies from them.”

“Police has launched an investigation to identify where the three suspects were taking the animal trophies and the exact place they got them.”

Pangolin horns that were discovered at the pastor's residence
Pangolin horns that were discovered at the pastor’s residence

Ahimbisibwe further confirmed that the three suspects are in police custody at CPS and that they will be arraigned before Buganda Road Court on Wednesday to face charges of being in possession of wildlife products which is against the law.

The Uganda Wildlife Act Section 30 and 75 (b), prohibits people from dealing in illegal wildlife trade and anyone found in the illicit trade will be charged with utilization of wildlife without wildlife use right.

The Act also prescribes a punishment of 12 months imprisonment or a fine of Shs8million for poachers and traffickers.

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