A Zimbabwe Republic Police sergeant, Collen Mwale, was last week arrested over illegal possession of two elephant tusks valued at $512.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Mwale was arrested together with his alleged accomplice, Edmore Mikazhu, a security guard employed by the Ministry of Transport.
The ivory was reportedly recovered at Mwale’s place of residence.
The two men appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act. They were remanded in custody to tomorrow for hearing of their matter.
Their bail application at the High Court was not entertained as the State had not filed its response.
The State alleges that on September 22 this year, police detectives received information to the effect that Mikazhu was in possession of ivory which he was offering for sale.
The detectives picked Mikazhu at a tollgate along the Masvingo road in Southlea Park and he led them to Mwale’s residence
where a search was conducted in the presence of Mwale’s wife, Leline Matsa.
During the search the detectives allegedly recovered a black satchel bag with two elephant tusks that were covered by a white sack stashed inside a wardrobe.
The State alleges Matsa was interviewed and she indicated the satchel bag belonged to her husband. Detectives then proceeded to Morris Depot where Mwale was arrested.
The tusks were later taken to Parks and Wildlife for assay and they were valued at $512.
In his bail statement, Mikazhu denied any knowledge of the bags’ contents, but admitted he received the bag from one Arnold Ngorima for safekeeping as the latter proceeded to his rural home.
Mikazhu further said upon receiving the bag he was on his way to his workplace for a night shift and he saw it wise to leave the bag at Mwale’s place of residence where he left it with Mwale’s wife.
Mikazhu denied ever implicating Mwale adding the latter had nothing to do with the said ivory and was not even aware of the bag’s contents.
Mwale, however, said he did not know why he was arrested, but confirmed he resided in the same neighbourhood with Mikazhu where the ivory was
discovered. Mwale argued there was no evidence linking him to the offence.