George Maponga in Masvingo
A senior member of the Central Intelligence Organisation has appeared before a Masvingo magistrate’s court for poaching after he allegedly teamed up with three other men and killed four rhinoceros worth nearly $500,000 at Sango Valley Conservancy in Chiredzi. Munashe Mudenge Murwira (age not given), who is a senior intelligence official based in Bulawayo, allegedly teamed up with a Zambian national Chris Kamboyi, Jason Chisango and the now deceased Dumisani Moyo and killed the rhinos before de-horning them in December last year.
Kamboyi is still recovering in hospital after he was shot by police detectives, while Chisango has since been jailed for an effective 20 years after he was convicted of poaching by a Masvingo magistrate early this month.
Moyo was shot and killed by detectives who intercepted the poaching gang at Sango Valley. Murwira, the alleged ring leader and mastermind of the poaching, yesterday appeared before Masvingo provincial magistrate Langton Ndokera facing four charges of hunting and killing a specially protected animal.
Murwira was remanded out of custody to March 4 after he was granted $100 bail by the High Court. According to prosecutor Tavonga Musina, agreed facts are that on February, 10, 2014, Murwira and his three accomplices drove to Sango Valley conservancy where they shot and killed two rhinos before de-horning them.
On February 29, 2015, Murwira and his gang again used the same modus operandi and went to Sango where they shot and killed another rhino before de-horning it. They allegedly sold the horn to unknown people in Zambia.
Murwira and his gang allegedly struck again in April last year where they killed the third rhino and sold the horn to Zambians after de-horning it. Luck ran out for Murwira and his gang on December 29 last year after police detectives, acting on a tip off, laid an ambush at Sango Valley.
Murwira and his team allegedly started exchanging fire with police detectives, resulting in Kamboyi being shot and sustaining serious injuries, while Moyo was killed on the scene. Murwira and Chisango were arrested after they surrendered.
Kamboyi was taken to Masvingo General Hospital where he is receiving treatment under police guard.