Prisons boss remanded in custody

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Zimbabwe Prison Service Assistant Commissioner (Administration) Apinos Mudzamiri and two others who were last week arrested for allegedly possessing four elephant tusks and mbanje (marijuana) were yesterday denied bail by a Hwange court.

Mudzamiri and Tinotenda Mapanga were not formally charged with possessing mbanje and elephant tusks when they appeared before Hwange provincial magistrate Collect Ncube.

Their alleged accomplice, Innocent Nyakusva, pleaded guilty and was convicted of poaching and remanded to March 21 for sentence while Mudzamiri and Mapanga will face trial on the same day.

On the mbanje count, under which Mudzamiri and Mapanga are jointly charged, they will be back in court on April 5 for trial coming from prison. The trio was denied bail because of the gravity of the case which might induce them to flee since they have been in custody for a week.

They were arrested on Friday last week in Binga after they were allegedly found in possession of four elephant tusks and an unspecified quantity of mbanje.

A fourth suspect fled the scene and is still at large. They were arrested after the vehicle they were travelling in, a Mahindra truck, got bogged down in the mud.

Police travelling to Binga doing patrols under Operation Nyanga Ye Ropa targeting poachers arrested the trio.