A 27-YEAR-OLD Victoria Falls poacher will rue the day he was found in possession of raw ivory after being slapped with a nine-year mandatory jail term.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Leronne Tshuma of Masikili Resettlement in Matetsi, yesterday pleaded guilty to possessing raw ivory weighing 5kg, valued at $1 250, when he appeared before Hwange Provincial Magistrate Rosemary Dube.
The magistrate failed to find extenuating circumstances that led to Tshuma’s unlawful possession of the regulated ivory prompting a mandatory sentence to be imposed.
State representative Napatirayi Ngwasha, presented that last Saturday, Tshuma was arrested by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers in Matetsi resettlement area while in possession of the ivory.
The court heard after being asked to explain where he had obtained the raw ivory, Tshuma failed to give a satisfactory answer prompting the officers to surrender him to police. After the sentence, Zimparks spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo commended the courts for sending a clear message to would-be poachers.
“We hail the sentence and it will send a clear message to other poachers and members of the public that national parks are a no-go area. If one is caught he will meet the full wrath of the law,” she said.