Hippopotamus teeth land man in jail

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A Bulawayo man who was jointly charged with two others for selling hippopotamus teeth without permission from the Wildlife Management Authority was yesterday fined $100 or two months in prison.

Vukani Sibanda (43) was convicted on his plea of guilty to dealing in an animal trophy without a permit by Bulawayo magistrate Rose Dube.

But two of his alleged accomplices, a juvenile (16) and Michael Kudakwashe Ndlovu (33), pleaded not guilty resulting in a separation of trial. The pair was remanded out of custody on their own cognisance to December 27.

Charges against them as presented by the prosecutor Jerry Mutsindikwa were that on December 8, detectives from the police’s minerals section received a tip-off that the juvenile was selling hippopotamus teeth and proceeded to his house at Njube.

They arrested him and on interrogation, he implicated Sibanda and directed the police to his house at Old Lobengula in the city. On arrival they pretended to be buyers and Sibanda let them into the house.

He brought one hippopotamus tooth to the detectives. The detectives asked him for his licence to deal in the trophy and he failed to produce one, leading to his arrest.

He implicated Ndlovu and he took the detectives to Ndlovu’s house in Mpopoma where they recovered another tooth. The teeth were valued at $60.