Elephant poacher found guilty

A suspected elephant poacher from Tsholotsho who was arrested after he tried to sell elephant tusks to local businesspeople has been found guilty.

Nokuthaba Dlamini

Thandazani Sibindi (30) of Sithembile Village appeared before Hwange regional magistrate, Sharon Rosemani on Tuesday charged with illegal possession of ivory.

Elephant tusks stored in secured ivory piles, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Prosecutor Onias Nyathi said on November 30 last year, Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers and police received information that Sibindi was illegally selling elephant tusks.

On the same night, they invaded Sibindi’s homestead and allegedly recovered three elephant tusks hidden in a fowlrun, leading to his arrest.

In his defence, Sibindi said the tusks were from two elephants he had found dead, claiming he intended to hand them over to Zimparks, but delayed after his child died.

However, Rosemani convicted Sibindi after considering evidence from witnesses.

He was remanded in custody for sentencing today.

Meanwhile, a Zambian national appeared at the Victoria Falls Magistrates’ Court facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and dagga and for entering Zimbabwe illegally.

Christopher Malasa Mandanya (35) was not asked to plead to the charges when he appeared before Victoria Falls resident magistrate Rangarirai Gakanye on Monday.

Prosecutor Listen Nare said Mandanya and five accomplices still at large were spotted by Jambezi villagers moving around the area carrying firearms.

On February 6, police laid an ambush at night and spotted the group.

Police fired warning shots forcing the group to flee for their lives but Mandanya was caught.

He was found in possession of 25 rounds of ammunition, two axes and butcher knives and 2kg of dagga.

The State opposed bail arguing Mandaya had no travel documents and that it would be difficult to trace him if he returned to Zambia.

Nare said police were still conducting further investigations into the case. Mandanya was remanded in custody to February 22.

Our Partners:   NewsDay   The Independent   TheStandard  MyClassifieds