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Mozambican poachers jailed

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By SIMBARASHE SITHOLE

TWO Mozambican nationals who unlawfully entered Zimbabwe through Chikafa entry point in Mbire in a bid to sell a live pangolin and elephant tusks were fined $200 each for skipping the border and got custodial sentences each for poaching.

Guruve magistrate Shingirai Mutiro jailed Santo Kamu (38) of Simoko village, Chief Bembure, Mangwe in Mozambique, to nine years for illegal possession of ivory, while his accomplice Lazarus Chihowa (32), from the same village, got three years for possessing a pangolin.

Prosecutor Carson Kundiona told the court that on September 18, working on a tip off, police officers teamed up with ZimParks officials and went to Disouza village, Mushumbi Pools where the duo was selling ivory and the pangolin.

The team posed as buyers before introducing themselves and demanded certificates for possessing both the pangolin and ivory which the duo failed to produce, leading to their arrest.
In another case, two Mvurwi shop supervisors were arraigned before the same magistrate charged with stealing cash and goods worth from their employer.

Bernard Chinatsa (34) and Prevarence Sifelani (21) were remanded in custody to November 25 for trial. Prosecutor Carson Kundiona alleged that between October 16 and November 7, the suspects collected cash from till operators at Food Mart investments and locked it in a safe and kept the keys.

On November 5, Chanetsa called the shop owner informing him that there was a shortfall of $6 000 from the money which was in the safe. The owner came the following day and reconciled the money with the cash book figures.

He discovered that $8 000 was missing from the safe, instead of the reported $6 000. The complainant conducted a stock take and discovered that goods worth $62 000 were missing from the shop.

A police report was filed at Mvurwi Police Station and the duo was arrested. Meanwhile, Chitsungo Mission Hospital administrator Wellington Makuvatsine (39) was convicted of theft charges by Bindura magistrate Maria Msika yesterday for stealing US$4 500 from the hospital’s bank account.

Makuvatsine was fined $600 and an additional six-month jail term was suspended on condition that he restitutes the hospital by November 29.

The court heard that on July 29, Makuvatsine was sent to NMB Bank Bindura branch by the hospital’s outpatients clerk Kizito Mutora to withdraw US$4 500, which he did the next day and decided not to take it to the hospital.

The offence was discovered on August 6 when signatories of the hospital account saw the anomaly on the bank statement and filed a police report, leading to the arrest of Makuvatsine.
Vincent Marunya represented the State.

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