George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
A BULAWAYO man appeared before a magistrate’s court here for poaching after he allegedly teamed up with three other men and killed four rhinoceros worth nearly $500 000 at Sango Valley Conservancy in Chiredzi.
Munashe Mudenge Murwira (age not given), who is a senior Central Intelligence Organisation official based in Bulawayo, allegedly teamed up with a Zambian, Chris Kamboyi, Jason Chisango and the now deceased Dumisani Moyo and killed the rhinos before de-horning them in December last year.
Kamboyi was still recovering in hospital after he was shot by police detectives, while Chisango has since been jailed for an effective 20 years after he was convicted of poaching by a Masvingo magistrate early this month.
Moyo was shot and killed by detectives who intercepted the poaching gang at Sango Valley.
Murwira, the alleged ringleader and mastermind of the poaching, appeared before Masvingo provincial magistrate Mr Langton Ndokera on Monday facing four charges of hunting and killing a specially protected animal.
Murwira was remanded out of custody to March 4 after he was granted $100 bail by the High Court.
According to prosecutor Mr Tavonga Musina, agreed facts are that on February 10 2014, Murwira and his three accomplices drove to Sango Valley Conservancy where they shot and killed two rhinos before de-horning them.
On February 29 2015, Murwira and his gang again used the same modus operandi and went to Sango where they shot and killed another rhino before de-horning it.
They allegedly sold the horn to unknown people in Zambia.
Murwira and his gang allegedly struck again in April last year when they killed the third rhino and sold the horn to Zambians.
Luck ran out for Murwira and his gang on December 29 last year after police detectives, acting on a tip-off, laid an ambush for them at Sango Valley.
Murwira and his team allegedly started exchanging fire with police detectives, resulting in Kamboyi being shot and sustaining serious injuries, while Moyo was killed on the spot.
Murwira and Chisango were arrested after they surrendered.
Kamboyi was taken to Masvingo General Hospital where he is receiving treatment under police guard.