MASVINGO — Six suspected rhino poachers accused of dehorning a white rhinoceros in Matendere Ranch in the Save Conservancy Valley last month, have been denied bail and remanded in custody to August 5.
The suspects were arrested in Harare last week after they were found in possession of two rhino horns worth $120 000, a CZ pistol and an FN assault rifle.
They are Peter Makaye (44), Tsumei Nemabwe (39) both from Bikita; Godfrey Nyambuya (34), Nelson Abraham (34), David Murara (37) all from Mutare and Charles Makuro Muzenda (43) from Chitungwiza.
On Tuesday, Masvingo provincial magistrate Timeon Makunde denied them bail saying they were likely to abscond given the seriousness of the crime.
The six, represented by Rodney Saratoga Makause and Johannes Ruvengo were being charged for contravening Section 45 (1) of the Parks and Wildlife Act.
Prosecutor Takunda Chikwati told the court the six went to Matendere Ranch in Save Conservancy Valley on June 29 where they shot and killed a white rhino and dehorned it before making their way to Harare with the loot.
On 18 July, Abraham and Nyambuya ran out of luck when they were arrested by detectives from the Minerals Unit while they were looking for a buyer at Sam Levy shopping centre in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb.
Murara’s Mercedes Benz car, which they were allegedly using, was searched, leading to the discovery of the horns as well as a CZ pistol loaded with one round of ammunition, as well as an FN rifle and a stolen radio.
Their arrest came hard on the heels of the incarceration of three newly- resettled farmers in Gonarezhou National Park last month who dehorned a Rhino, but were sold out by a cap they dropped at the scene of the crime.
Weeks before, 10 elephants were reportedly killed in the country’s second largest national park by a suspected syndicate targeting wildlife sanctuaries.