Communities that reside adjacent Hwange National Park have sent a clear message to poachers that any form of illegal harvesting of the country’s wildlife resources has no room in society. This follows a citizen’s arrest in Gwayi area close to Hwange National Park where Innocent Nyathi,41, arrested by the community . His colleague, who is yet to be identified, escaped and is on the run.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said the two were allegedly found with 3 kilogrammes of cyanide in their possession when they were apprehended. The arrest was effected by a Gwayi man who later called Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority offices. The accused person has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment for illegal possession of raw ivory weighing 4 kilogrammes. The accused person appeared before Hwange Provincial Magistrate Rosemary Dube while Memory Musaka appeared for the state. The accused person pleaded guilty and was given a mandatory nine years in prison.
Meanwhile Munashe Chandake aged 25years of Jenyedza St Rujeko, B. in Masvingo was arrested by a joint anti-poaching operation team comprising Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Zimbabwe Republic Police, ZRP and anti- tracking specialist, ATS . The team managed to avert a would be indiscriminate killing of wildlife in one of the water holes, when they were arrested Chindake who was found in illegal possession of 2 kilogrammes of cyanide and has since appeared before Masvingo Magistrate where he was remanded in custody for continuation of trial. Chishakwe ranch is home to a variety of wildlife species.
In yet another incident, Petros Kunyeti was sentenced to 12 months in prison for the illegal possession of cyanide by a Guruve Magistrate, Artwell Sanyatwe for illegal possession 500 grammes of cyanide. Kunyeti was carrying the cyanide intending to administer it in order to kill elephants in Mana Pools, Lower Guruve when he was apprehended by a crack team from the ZRP Minerals and Border Control Unit and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. Vanestancia Musiiwa was prosecuting.
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is warning members of the public on how extremely dangerous cyanide is to humans, domestic and wild animals as it causes death within seconds after being exposed to it.
The Authority will forever remain grateful to its stakeholders who have assisted in fighting poaching in the country adding that wildlife crime needs an all stakeholder’s approach if the war against poaching is to be realised.