A SERVING member of the Zimbabwe National Army based at Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks and three accomplices were yesterday remanded in custody by Harare magistrate Barbara Mateko for illegal possession of ivory worth US$12 480.
Joseph Mubaiwa (35) of Magama Tongogara Barracks appeared in court together with Quidiance Rundofa, William Manager and Musekiwa Ruzvidzo.
It is alleged that on February 8 this year at around 7:30am, detectives from CID Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit received information that the four men were in possession of ivory at Dan Bismark Sports Club, Arcadia, driving a Mercedes Benz and were looking for buyers.
Armed with the information, detectives proceeded to the scene where they carried surveillance and observed their car parked in the open space near Dan Bismark Sports Club.
The State alleges the detectives observed Mubaiwa and Rundofa showing Manager and Ruzvidzo four sacks which contained elephant tusks whilst standing outside the vehicle. The four allegedly went inside the vehicle and showed each other another sack of ivory which was in the rear seat.
The detectives allegedly closed in and blocked the Mercedes Benz.
The accused persons allegedly bolted out of the vehicle and ran in different directions. Detectives fired warning shots in the air but accused persons continued running until Rundofa, Manager and Ruzvidzo were arrested while Mubaiwa managed to escape.
The detectives recovered 10 elephant tusks in the boot, nine in another brown sack and two on the rear seat. Mubaiwa was later located and arrested. The accused persons failed to produce licences for the ivory.
The tusks weighed 73,415kg.