29 jailed for wildlife crimes Aleck Masomera was convicted after a full trial by Harare regional magistrate Mrs Letwin Rwodzi.

Crime Reporter 

At Least 29 people were this year jailed a mandatory nine years’ each, for committing wildlife and environment crimes countrywide as police express concern over endangered species which continue to be a target of transnational criminal syndicates.

According to statistics, a total of 562 cases were brought before the courts this year, of which 511 cases were detected and 135 cases were finalised resulting with the 29 being convicted. 

This was revealed by the Police Deputy Commissioner-General (crime) Mind Elliot Ngirandi during a handover of protocol handbooks for law enforcement to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) by a non-profit, wildlife orientated organisation, Tikki Hywood Foundation.

Tikki Hywood Foundation founder and chief executive officer Ms Lisa Hywood handed over the donation comprising handbooks, flyers, scenes of crime application and pangolin friendly boxes.

Deputy Comm-Gen Ngirandi said as police command they were deeply grateful that the year 2021 despite its fair share of challenges which included the menacing Covid-19 pandemic; the support from both government and various stakeholders was quite noteworthy. 

“To this day, we have received an assortment of state of the art equipment, vehicles and buses among other goods. For that reason and on behalf of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, I am exceedingly grateful to all the stakeholders for considering the Zimbabwe Republic Police a worthy partner. We shall continue to work hand in glove with all our beloved stakeholders as we diligently discharge our constitutional mandate. 

“In this regard, allow me to take this opportunity to thank Tikki Hywood Foundation for their priceless donation. As I have always stated, the fight against crime is a shared responsibility hence we are happy that some of our citizens and organisations continue to play a vital role in helping fighting crime. For Tikki Hywood in particular, they have always been a pillar to lean on especially in combating wildlife crimes. The donation we are witnessing today is not the first as Tikki Hywood foundation has extended support to the Zimbabwe Republic Police numerous times,” Deputy Comm-Gen Ngirandi said. 

He said each day wildlife and environment crimes most of which deplete the flora and fauna were recorded and that this also negatively impacts the economy given that the tourism sector which contributes significant amount of foreign currency was anchored on wildlife and the environment. 

 “Similarly, the demand for wildlife products is rising globally and pangolins are unfortunately some of the most endangered species and continue to be a target of transnational criminal syndicates. It is disturbing to note that a total of 562 cases were brought before the courts during 2021, of which 511 cases detected and 135 cases were finalised resulting in 29 accused persons being convicted and sentenced to nine years’ mandatory imprisonment. 

“Furthermore, CID has managed to maintain an average detection rate of wildlife crime of 91 percent during the course of the year which is a remarkable achievement,” he said.

He said guide books donated were quite enriching as the content will certainly improve the investigative acumen of first line responders to wildlife crime scenes. 

He said the flyers will also go a long way in conscientising the public on the importance of conserving and protecting wildlife. 

“Cognisant that contemporary policing is dynamic, the software application is in sync with international standards and enhances wildlife crime investigation. Indeed, a pangolin is a delicate species that needs proper handling and custody to prevent them from dangers of stress, injury or death. 

“Therefore the donated pangolin friendly boxes will enhance handling and preservation of live exhibits. The pangolin friendly boxes shall aid first line responders to give safe custody as opposed to improvised method of utilising sacks,” Deputy Comm-Gen Ngirandi said. 

Ms Hywood said they had continued to enjoy a cordial relation with the police for almost a decade and said the donation will go a long way in fighting wildlife crimes.

You Might Also Like