A 39-YEAR-OLD man from Jambezi near Victoria was last week lucky to get away with a $100 fine for illegally entering Matetsi Safari area and killing an impala worth $500.
By Ruth Ngwenya
Elijah Nbebele was convicted for contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act after he was found hunting in a safari area without a permit.
The court heard that on March 10, Ndebele and his co-accused Vimbani Mathe, Clement Majongo and three other unidentified men, illegally entered the conservancy and killed the animal and dried the meat at their makeshift campsite.
Ndebele was nabbed by a patrol team comprising police and Zimparks rangers while his accomplices fled.
Ndebele pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared before Victoria Falls magistrate Sharon Rosemani.
He told the court that he had no intentions of selling the 114,8kgs of meat that was recovered from him by the police.
“I am the bread winner in my family and I struggle to raise money even for fees,” he said.
“I decided to hunt animals for relish because I did not have money to buy it.”
The court fined him $100 or 10 weeks imprisonment and ordered him to pay $500 to Zimparks.
The State had earlier claimed that the suspects killed a lion, zebra, kudu, impala and buffalo all valued at $36 000.
In a related matter, a Gokwe pangolin poacher, Ranganai Mutambidzanwa, was yesterday sentenced to nine years in jail and ordered to pay $5 000 compensation to Zimparks.
Mutambidzanwa had illegally entered Sengwa National Park last week and killed the pangolin.