A MUTASA man was last week slapped with an effective nine-year jail term after being found guilty of possessing rhinoceros’ horns worth close to US$250 000.
Fungai Michael Chibvuri (40) of Dziruni Village under Chief Mutasa had been charged together with Matyorwenyu Chiromaamba (43) of Chikanga, Mutare, but the latter was acquitted.
The duo appeared before Mutare magistrate, Mr Tendai Mahwe, while Mr Tirivanhu Mutyasira prosecuted. They were charged with contravening Section 45 (i) (b) of the Parks and Wildlife Act, Chapter 20:14 as read with Statutory Instrument 128 of the Parks and Wildlife Act which criminalises the unlawful possession, sale or disposal of specially protected animals.
The court heard that on August 13, police detectives from Mutare’s Flora and Fauna Unit received a tip-off that the two were in possession of two rhino horns. The cops disguised themselves as potential buyers and lured the accused persons to Morningside suburb in Mutare.
Upon their arrival with the rhino horns, the two were arrested. However, further investigations exonerated Chiromaamba.
The horns weigh 2,31 kilogrammes and are valued at US$240 000.
— Manica Post