Trial of cop 'who supplied poachers with guns' opens

HARARE – A star witness in a case which a cop allegedly stole guns from his workplace and sold them to poachers has opened at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.

The witness revealed how the police officer committed to promptly supplying him with rifles whenever he placed an order.

This was revealed by Obiat Shumba, a suspected poacher in the trial of Alouis Mabika, who is answering to theft charges.

Mabika, 46, who is attached to National Armoury at the Morris Depot, was subsequently suspended from duty after being charged.

He is being tried before Harare magistrate Tracey Muzondo. He denied the allegation saying he never supplied the witness with any guns and further advised the court that the department responsible for safeguard of the firearms confirmed that no guns are missing from their storehouses.

However, the alleged poacher said his brother Onias was the first to deal in guns with Mabika.

“Sometime in 2010, I approached my brother Onias and told him I wanted a 303 rifle and after a month, he brought two 3006 rifles saying they functioned the same way as 303 rifles and I paid $600 for them,” Shumba said.

“He told me that the supplier was a senior cop and I asked for his contacts but my brother refused to give them to me.”

Shumba, the court heard, secretly retrieved Mabika’s contacts from his brother’s phone since he had been approached by Stanely Masukuma, a headmaster at Chirisa Satelite School who wanted an AK 47 rifle.

“When I called Mabika, he said AK47 rifle was going for $350 and I went back to Masukuma and told him that it was being sold for $500 and he paid in full. I got the AK 47 rifle from Mabika loaded with two rounds of ammunition and delivered to Masukuma,” he said.

The trial was deferred to February 2.

Prosecutor Moleen Murozvi alleged that between 2009 and 2016, Mabika hatched a plan to steal firearms allegedly taking advantage that he was the stores man.

The court heard that Mabika stole an AK47 serial numbers 1976 with live rounds of ammunition, 3,75 rifle, 30,06 rifle, two 7,9 and FN rifles and a 303 rifle.

According to State papers, all the guns were loaded and Mabika would allegedly sell them to Shumba, the Gokwe-based alleged poacher.

One of the guns was recovered from Musukuma.

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