Nine years in jail for rhino poacher

Thupeyo Muleya, [email protected]

A 50-year-old Bulawayo man who is linked to a rhino poaching syndicate has been sentenced to an effective nine years in jail for killing and dehorning a rhinoceros in the Bubye Valley Conservancy in Beitbridge.

 The horns are valued at US$120  000.

Greaters Nyoni of Northend suburb was convicted by Beitbridge regional magistrate, Mr Innocent Bepura, of contravening a section of the Parks and Wildlife Act.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges of illegal hunting of a specially protected animal but was convicted due to overwhelming evidence.

Prosecuting, Mr Ronald Mugwagwa said on July 14, 2022, Nyoni connived with Prince Mudenda, James Tapoka, Spencer Mharadza, and President Oswel Musekwa, who is still at large, and they hatched a plan to hunt a rhinoceros at Bubye Valley Conservancy.

They proceeded to the area while being driven by one Tedious Matimbire.

Upon arrival, they shot and killed a black rhinoceros using a .375 rifle and the firearm belonged to Nyoni.

“After killing the rhino, Mudenda and Tapoka dehorned the animal using an axe and packed it in a satchel before leaving the conservancy,” said Mr Mugwagwa.

 They then escaped in their car, a grey Toyota Wish, which was driven by Matimbire and drove to Bulawayo where they gave Nyoni the horns.

 He then travelled to Harare with Matimbire in another car and sold the horn.

The court heard that on July 15, the offence was discovered by game scouts who made a report to the police and investigations were conducted leading to Mudenda’s arrest. He implicated Nyoni and he was also arrested

Police also recovered spent cartridges at the scene of the crime. The horns were not recovered. 


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