A 27-YEAR-OLD Victoria Falls poacher will rue the day he was found in possession of raw ivory after being slapped with a nine-year mandatory jail term.
BY CHARLES LAITON
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
The poacher, Leronne Tshuma of Masikili Resettlement in Matetsi, yesterday pleaded guilty to possessing raw ivory weighing five kilograms, valued at $1 250, when he appeared before Hwange provincial magistrate Rosemary Dube.
The magistrate however, failed to find extenuating circumstances that led to Tshuma’s unlawful possession of the regulated ivory, prompting a mandatory sentence to be imposed.
State representative Napatirayi Ngwasha presented that last Saturday, Tshuma was arrested by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks)rangers in Matetsi Resettlement Area while in possession of the ivory.
The court heard, after being asked to explain where he had obtained the raw ivory, Tshuma failed to give a satisfactory answer prompting the officers to surrender him to police.
After the sentence, ZimParks spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo commended the courts for sending a clear message to would-be poachers.
“We hail the sentence and it will send a clear message to other poachers and members of the public that National Parks are a no-go area. If one is caught, he will meet the full wrath of the law,” Washaya Moyo said.
Meanwhile, two men died this week after being attacked by wild animals in separate incidents in Victoria Falls and Binga.
The unidentified man aged 32 from Lupinyu village under Chief Mvutu in Victoria Falls was killed by elephants on Saturday near Masuwe Bridge while a 70-year-old man from Kavula village in Binga was killed after being gored by a buffalo the following day.