Poacher jailed 10 years

HARARE -  Hwange magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa yesterday sentenced a Zambian poacher to 10 years in prison with hard labour for illegal possession of ivory and a firearm.

John Makhina appeared in court facing charges of unlawful possession of tusks, violation of the Immigration Act and illegal possession of a 375 rifle.

He was arrested on February 22 for illegal hunting.

Caroline Washaya-Moyo, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations manager, said at least 37 tusks weighing 567kg were later recovered.

The tusks are valued at $141 750.

Meanwhile, Namatayi Ndlovu, 30, and Calvin Murapata, 22, who were facing charges of contravening the Environmental Management Act after being found in illegal possession of 300
grammes of cyanide, have been remanded in custody. They are set to return to court today. 

The pair’s arrest comes after nine people were arrested on suspicion of poisoning watering holes in the game park. Last October more than 300 elephants, five lions and two buffalo
died from cyanide poisoning in Hwange National Park.

There are more than 120 000 elephants in Zimbabwe’s national parks.

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