Rhino poaching case deferred

rhinoThupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The four suspects who were early this month arrested in connection with rhino poaching at Matopos National Park will be tried on Monday next week at Kezi Magistrates’ Court.

The case had a false start when police and Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management witnesses failed to show up at the courts on Wednesday.

The four suspects are Munyaradzi Mwonzora, Clement Mazhandu (39), Shadreck Kuvarega (39) and Brighton Nkosilathi Nyathi (26).

MDC-T legislator for Tsholotsho (proportional representation), Ms Lwazi Sibanda, has since been questioned by the police in connection with the matter.

The suspects’ lawyer, Mr Kholwani Ngwenya said the case was also postponed to a later date to allow him time to study the State papers.

“I was given the State papers a few minutes before we could go for trial and hence we asked for more time to study them,” he said.

Mr Ngwenya said the quartet was released on summons.

The suspects were apprehended by rangers in the park on January 5 who then handed them to the police.

The rangers believed the gang was tracking a rhinoceros spoor in the park.

It was also alleged that two days earlier Ms Sibanda was spotted in the same park conducting surveillance prior to the arrival of Mwonzora and his accomplices.

Ms Sibanda was interrogated by detectives at Hillside Police Station in Bulawayo and released without a charge following her visit to Mwonzora soon after his arrest in Matopo.

Mr Ngwenya argues that the four were arrested on their way to Gulaki area where Mwonzora wanted to buy a car.

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