Codelia Mondela, Court Reporter
THREE men from Bulawayo have been ordered to restitute Matopos National Park $4 002 for hunting and killing a kudu and a buffalo without licences.
They were apprehended when one of them dropped a Zesa token at the crime scene after exchanging fire with rangers.
The Zesa token was used to trace them.
Knocks Mufudze (42), Mesihleli Ncube (25) and Clement Nyathi (23) were also fined $300 each by Bulawayo magistrate Mr Franklin Mkhwananzi for using a firearm for poaching purposes at Lucydale Farm in Matopo last month.
A court heard that the trio sold the game meat valued at $4 000 to a local butchery.
Mufudze, Ncube and Nyathi on Friday, pleaded guilty to three counts of hunting animals on a land without permission charges before Mr Mkhwananzi.
“You are each fined $300 or three months in prison. Six months imprisonment is wholly suspended on condition that you restitute the national park of $1 334 each,” Mr Mkhwananzi said.
The trio said they were sorry for what they did and pleaded with the court to be lenient in passing sentence.
Prosecuting, Mr Tawurai Hondoyemoto said on November 20, Nyathi was given a firearm by his father. He then connived with Ncube and Mufudze to go and hunt a wildebeest at Lucydale Farm.
“The trio killed a wildebeest and sold the meat to a local butchery. On November 24, they used the same firearm and killed a kudu at the same farm. They sold the meat to the same butchery,” he said.
Mr Hondoyemoto said on Tuesday, the three went to hunt again at the farm and they met game rangers.
“The trio exchanged fire with the rangers but fled after they were over powered. They dropped a satchel which had the certificate of the fire arm, five knives and a prepaid Zesa token,” he said.
The court heard that the knives, firearm and Zesa token were taken and used during investigations leading to the arrest of the three.