Businessman fined for killing kudu

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A SAFARI operator in the Gwayi Conservancy was fined $300 for hunting and killing a kudu worth $2 000, but was acquitted on a charge of hunting and killing an elephant at a safari owned by another businessman in the area.

SILAS NKALA
STAFF REPORTER

Headman Sibanda of Selborne Park in Bulawayo who operates Nyala Safari in the Gwayi Conservancy, had denied the two counts of illegal hunting charges when he appeared before Lupane magistrate Aelene Munamati.

Munamati convicted Sibanda on one count of illegally hunting in the Forestry Commission-owned land and fined him $300 or three months in jail. The magistrate said there was overwhelming evidence that Sibanda hunted without permission from the Forestry Commission.

On the charge of hunting at businessman Zenzo Moyo’s safari, Sibanda was found not guilty and acquitted.

In acquitting him, the magistrate said there was a benefit of doubt that he hunted without permission as there were signs of verbal agreements between Moyo and Sibanda.

Sibanda indicated that he had paid $8 000 into Moyo’s account and he took the money showing that he had agreed to the hunting.

Munamati said it was shown in court that the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks) had signed a clearance document showing that Sibanda was allowed to hunt by Moyo and the confusion could have been caused by the fact that the latter did not sign the document.

It was indicated that the error was on the part of Zimparks.

Prosecutor Sanders Sibanda told the court that on June 1 last year, Sibanda went to Silwane Block in the Gwayi Conservancy owned by the Forestry Commission and killed a kudu worth $2 000.

The offence was discovered by Forestry Commission security guards who reported the matter to the police.

A spoor track led to Sibanda’s safari where a kudu carcass was recovered. In denying the charge of hunting in the Forestry Commission land Sibanda said he hunted the kudu at a safari owned by Moyo after an agreement.

In the second count, Sibanda allegedly went to Moyo’s Mbombela Safari where he hunted and killed an elephant worth $12 500.

Moyo discovered the alleged illegal hunting and reported the matter to the police.

He denied reaching any agreement with Sibanda.