LATEST: 2 ZNA soldiers receive 9-year jail sentences


Two soldiers sentenced to nine years in jail for illegal ivory possession

Two soldiers, Wilfred Minesi (33) and Virimayi Nyandoro (36), stationed at the Zimbabwe National Army’s One Commando Regiment in Harare, have been sentenced to nine years in prison for illegal possession of ivory. The verdict was delivered by Magistrate Ruth Moyo.

The soldiers faced charges of contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act. However, their alleged accomplices, Maxwell Nduna and Michael Zhaunkinyu, were acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

According to State prosecutor Mandy Chigumira, the case unfolded on April 2, 2021, when detectives from the CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit in Harare received information about individuals seeking potential buyers for ivory.

Detectives managed to contact Nduna who led them to the suspects. Upon meeting with the detectives, Minesi and Nyandoro confirmed having two elephant tusks that they intended to sell for US$40 per kilogramme.

The duo said it had hidden the ivory in Mukuvisi River near Brooks Drive, Hillside, Harare. They then led detectives to Mukuvisi River where the ivory was retrieved.

Upon seeing the ivory, the detectives identified themselves as CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit members. The court heard that the duo failed to produce any licence or permit that authorised it to possess the ivory, leading to its arrest.

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