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Zambian poacher jailed 10 years

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A 44-YEAR-OLD Zambian poacher who was shot by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks) rangers in the Siamungu, Binga, area in March was yesterday sentenced to 10 years in prison by provincial magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa sitting at the Hwange Magistrates’ Court.

NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Siamungu Makina of Mungandi village in Zambia admitted to unlawful possession of elephant tusks and illegally entering and hunting in Zimbabwe.

He, however, denied that he was armed saying it was his accomplice who was gunned down by the rangers who was armed.

“I admit to charges levelled against me and illegally getting into Zimbabwe, but it was instead the deceased who was armed. He was the owner of the tusks. I was just employed by him,” said Makina.

“We did not shoot the elephants in Zimbabwe. We shot them in Botswana and passed through Zimbabwe.”

For the State, Tinomupeyi Mbiza said from February 1 this year, Makina and his 21 accomplices would canoe across the Zambezi River into Zimbabwe game parks to hunt.

On March 21, rangers saw footprints at Pandamasuer Forest and tracked them and spotted
Makina.

He was shot in the left arm, abdomen and right thigh before being arrested. When he was searched, rangers found 37 tusks valued at $174 000, an HH375 riffle, 30 rounds of ammunition and two hunting knives.

In mitigation, Makina said he was a family man with five minor children and begged the court to imprison him in his own country so that they could get an opportunity to visit him.

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