Poacher jailed after citizen's arrest

HARARE - A suspected poacher — 41-year-old Innocent Nyathi — has been jailed for nine years following a citizen’s arrest near Hwange National Park.

He was found in possession of three kilogrammes of cyanide and raw ivory upon his apprehension.

Nyathi’s colleague, yet to be identified, escaped during the arrest — effected by a Gwayi man who later called Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) officials, according to spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo.

“The accused person appeared before Hwange provincial magistrate Rosemary Dube while Memory Musaka appeared for the State,” she said.

Washaya-Moyo added that the authority was working together with communities around national parks to fight wildlife poaching.

Two other suspected poachers – Munashe Chandake and Petros Kunyeti – have also been imprisoned for illegally possessing a total 2,5 kilogrammes of the poison believed to have been targeted at poisoning wildlife in the country’s national parks.

ZimParks, police and anti-tracking specialists apprehended 25-year-old Chandake who wanted to poison water holes at Chishakwe ranch in Masvingo — home to diverse wildlife species.

“Chindake...has since appeared before a Masvingo magistrate where he was remanded in custody for continuation of trial,” Washaya-Moyo said.

Zimbabwe continues to lose hundreds of wildlife species, particularly elephants, to cyanide poaching, as authorities battle to curb the crime.

Kunyeti was sentenced to 12 months in prison by Guruve magistrate Artwell Sanyatwe after he was charged with illegal possession of 500 grammes of cyanide.

He was allegedly intending to use it in killing elephants in Mana Pools, Lower Guruve, before he was apprehended by a crack team from the ZRP Minerals and Border Control Unit and ZimParks.

Comments (1)

Apologies for pedantry but if innocent is found guilty then surely he should also be a poacher rather than a suspected poacher! The article suggests a denial of the facts...other than that thank you for publishing

Andrew Jones - 21 December 2016

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