LUPANE — The owner of a truck which was recently impounded by Forestry Commision officials over allegations of conniving with poachers to steal 10 tonnes of timber from Gwayi Forestry, has been charged alongside his two employees for contravening the Parks and Wildlife Management Act.
Last Tuesday, Lupane magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba sentenced two of the poachers to 10 months in prison while the other six were fined $250 each.
In the latest case, the truck owner, Tafadzwa Tabengwa (23) and his two employees Gift Madzonyonge (26) and Ownsome Masokora (26), denied the charge of conniving with the poachers when they appeared before the same magistrate on Wednesday.
The magistrate remanded them out of custody to October 26 for judgment.
The State alleges on October 8, Madzonyonge and Masokora connived with eight timber poachers at Lihlo village in Gwayi Forestry to collect the poached timber.
The court heard they drove Tabengwa’s truck — registration number ABT 7822 — to Gwayi Forestry where mukwa timber worth $1 000 was loadedon to it.
Before they left the scene, an alleged whistleblower alerted Forestry Commission security officers about the offence, leading to the suspects’ arrest.
The matter was referred to police who immediately impounded the truck to expedite investigations.
Tabengwa was arrested when he visited the police station to inquire about his truck.
Sanders Sibanda prosecuted.