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by MERCY MUJURU
HARARE, (CAJ News) – A ZIMBABWEAN soldier has appeared in court for alleged poaching.
Joseph Mupamhanga (32) was recently arrested in the capital Harare allegedly in possession of four elephant tusks that the city’s Magistrates’ Court has valued at about US$3 000 (R39 000).
Magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta heard how enforcers from the Minerals and Border Control Unit arrested the suspect in the high density suburb of Machipisa.
Prosecutors allege the elephants tusks were carried in a sack and weighed about 17kg.
The trial has been adjourned to Thursday next week.
Wildlife in the Southern African country is under threat from well-organised poaching syndicates.
It is alleged some disgruntled soldiers, enduring economic hardships after salaries are intermittently not paid on time, are among perpetrators.
Foreign nationals are also involved.
According to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, a South African, 31 Zambians and seven Mozambicans were among 443 people arrested for poaching in Zimbabwe in 2016.
– CAJ News