Court convicts four rhino poachers

HARARE - Four villagers could face up to three years’ imprisonment after being convicted of killing a specially protected animal.

Godfrey Makechemu, 47, Ignatius Maiga, 30, Farai Chauno, 27, and Celestino Shate, 35, were convicted by Masvingo magistrate Peter Madiba after a full trial.

Madiba ruled that the quartet, not being holders of a valid permit had intentionally and unlawfully hunted rhinoceroses, which are specially protected animals by following their spoor.

They were also found guilty of a second count of possession of a firearm without a firearm certificate as well as a third count of contravening the Firearms Act by fitting onto a firearm a silencing device without having obtained written permission of the comptroller.

The complainant was represented by legal counsel Prisca Daka of Speak Out For Animals.

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