Five men appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with unlawful possession of ivory after being found in possession of 16 elephant tusks weighing 107kg valued at $26 750.
The arrest came after officials from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in conjunction with Border Control and the Police Minerals Unit intercepted the ivory in Harare last Friday following a tip-off.
The five men — Chaita Enock Mahuya (41), Farisai Mudzimba (38), Nkosilathi Sibanda (18), Samson Mutereko (45) and Wilson Mazwi (32) — appeared before provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe who remanded them in custody to August 9 for trial.
The accused are facing charges of contravening section 82(1) of the Parks and Wildlife Management Act which criminalises unlawful possession of ivory.
Recently, the Authority reviewed upwards compensation fees for hunting of animals and fish as well as payment for trapping of wild animals after a surge in cases of offenders arrested for violating the Wildlife Act.
Of major interest, is the increase in compensation fees for major or prime species such as buffalo, leopard, lion, cheetah, elephant and zebra, to mention but a few.
These species, some of which constitute the big five, have of late been the target of heightened poaching.
Gift Zumbika prosecuted.