2 village heads in serious trouble for killing a lion worth US$20,000


In a damning blow against poaching, two village leaders from Dete have been sentenced to jail time for the illegal killing of a lion, a protected species in Zimbabwe.

Elias Nyoni (51) and Zenzo Ndlovu (47), who held the respected positions of village heads, were arraigned before a Hwange magistrate on charges of setting a deadly snare to trap the lion.

The case came to light on May 17th, 2024, when the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) reported suspicions of a lion being killed. Authorities traced the lion’s GPS collar signal, which had remained stationary since May 12th.

Upon investigating the scene, police and ZimParks officials discovered the carcass of a donkey and a class-one wire snare, complete with lion fur entangled in it. Further inquiries in the nearby illegal resettlements of Muraga linked the two village heads to the crime.

Under questioning, Nyoni and Ndlovu led authorities to the recovered lion collar, which had been deliberately destroyed. The investigators also uncovered a haul of incriminating evidence, including three sacks of game meat, 16 lion claws, and four lion teeth. Experts valued the killed lion at a staggering US$20,000.

Faced with the overwhelming evidence, the accused men pleaded guilty to the charges. They were each sentenced to 12 months in prison, with 6 months suspended for 5 years. Additionally, the court ordered them to pay US$20,000 in compensation to ZimParks.

The seized snares, claws, teeth, and game meat were all forfeited to the state, underscoring the severity with which Zimbabwe treats crimes against its precious wildlife.

This case serves as a stark warning to those who would seek to profit from the illegal trade in endangered species. As custodians of their communities, the conviction of these village heads sends a clear message – poaching will not be tolerated, no matter one’s position or status.

Breaking News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our website and receive notifications of Breaking News by email.