Zimbabwe: Two arrested for unlawful possession of ivory

Feb 20, 2024 | News

By Peter Matuka, The Chronicle

Police in Matabeleland North Province have arrested two people after they were allegedly found with 7kg of ivory worth more than US$1 000. 

Malvern Chigume (33) of Maglas Township in Zvishavane and Qondisani Ncube (20) of Fatima village in Lupane were arrested at Fatima Business Centre. 

The duo who were represented by Mr Givemore Muvhiringi of Muvhiringi and Associates appeared before Hwange magistrate Ms Yolanda Kabasa charged with unlawful possession of ivory. 

They were not asked to plead and will be held in custody until March 1 for routine remand. 

Prosecutor Ms Brenda Ndlovu said police received a tip off about some people who were in possession of ivory. 

“On February 15, at around 8pm, Police detectives (Flora and Fauna Unit) in Hwange received information that four suspects were in possession of ivory at Fatima Business Centre and were looking for buyers. Police Detectives teamed up with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers and proceeded to Fatima,” said Ms Ndlovu. 

She told court that the anti-poaching team carried out investigations and around 11pm spotted four men moving towards a lay-bye which is a few metres from the shops. Two of the people were carrying a sack. 

The team approached the four and noticed that elephant tusks were protruding from the sack. The anti-poaching team members introduced themselves and requested to search the suspects. 

Two of the suspects immediately took to their heels and disappeared into the darkness. 

Chigume and Ncube who were carrying the sack were apprehended. 

Upon searching, police recovered four pieces of unmarked raw ivory in the sack. The duo failed to produce a permit or licence authorising them to be in possession of elephant tusks. 

Ncube claimed the ivory belonged to his nephew while Chigume said he was an agent for some buyers. 

The pieces of ivory were weighed and had a combined mass of 7kg worth US$1 190. 

Police are hunting for the two suspects that escaped.


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