New twist in Victoria Falls ivory case

0
152

THE case involving five people suspected of dealing in ivory has taken a new twist as the suspects are now denying the charge.

RUTH NGWENYA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

The five have now engaged lawyers to help them change their plea to not guilty.

Munyaradzi Nhananga (26), Freedom Mandundu (26), Ignatius Msipha (22) and Francis Simbarashe Nyandoro (28) are charged with unlawful possession of ivory, while Busani Nyoni (34) faces a separate charge of illegally dealing in ivory.

The five appeared separately before Victoria Falls resident magistrate Sharon Rosemani yesterday.

Dorothy Pegga of Mashindi and Partners is representing Nhananga and Mandundu, while Msipha and Nyandoro are represented by Givemore Muvhiringi of Dube and Company.GAVEL LAW COURT

Nyoni claimed to have found the 9kg tusk and sold it to Nhananga and Mandundu.

Yesterday he changed his plea and claimed he never sold the tusk to the two, but only showed it to them.

“After the arrest of my friends, I was surprised the police came to arrest me because l did not sell the tusk to them, I only showed it to them,” he said.

“I saw the tusk at Chamabondo bush and left it there and went to tell my friends.

“They then requested that l take them to where l saw the tusk and l did so.”

It is the State’s case that on January 27, police officers received a tip-off that the accused were on their way to Kingdom Hotel with an elephant tusk which they intended to sell to an unknown buyer.

Detectives then proceeded to the local hotel and intercepted the accused persons at the car park.

After having asked the driver to open the car boot, the police officers found one elephant tusk weighing 9,34kg and a digital scale hidden in the boot and arrested them before they implicated Nyoni.

Prosecutor Takunda Ndovorwi told court that on an unknown date Nyoni was fetching firewood in a bush near Mkhosana Township where he allegedly picked up an elephant tusk which he kept and later sold to Nhananga and Mandundu for P1 000 and $15.

Nhananga, Mandundu, Nyandoro and Msipha were remanded in custody to tomorrow for trial, while Nyoni’s trial will commence today.