Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Poachers jailed 9 years for possession of 3 605kg ivory

TWO men from Dete in Matabeleland North province were yesterday jailed nine years each, for killing five elephants using cyanide-poisoned oranges.

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

The pair, David Ndlovu (42) and Nkathazo Penga (33), appeared before Hwange provincial magistrate, Sharon Rosemani charged with possession of ivory and cyanide following their separate arrests on July 4.

Allegations against them were that, acting together, they were in the business of selling ivory and cyanide poison at Dete shopping centre and were arrested after rangers from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) posed as potential clients.

Ndlovu produced three pieces of raw ivory and demanded $1 000 for each and two kilogrammes of cyanide, leading to his arrest.

He later implicated Penga, who was also arrested.

In their defence, the two initially claimed that they had picked the ivory and cyanide in the Forestry Area while looking for firewood.

However, in court, they confessed to killing five elephants using cyanide injected into oranges and skinning them to take away the ivory for sale.

Meanwhile, a ZimParks patrol ranger, who was arrested last week for possession of ammunition, has been remanded in custody to July 27.

Fungai Sibanda was arrested after a tip-off and was found in possession of 31 AK-47 rifle ammunition rounds, a San rifle and two mini magazines hidden in different corners of his house.

Sibanda denied the charge, implicating his colleague, Lameck Sankwarwe, who is also in remand prison on allegations of poaching.

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