Zimparks names ‘poaching kingpin’

Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has named a suspected cross-border poaching kingpin as Dumisani Moyo. The authority said Moyo was hiding in Zambia and police were tracking him down. Zimparks spokesperson Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo told The Herald recently that Moyo was working with a group of foreign criminals.

“Cross-border elephant poaching in the Zambezi Valley is being conducted traditionally by Zambian poaching groups who use the same traditional crossing points into Zimbabwe,” she said.

“The only Zambian group linked to alleged notorious Zimbabwean poacher Dumisani Moyo originally from Lower Gweru, but now resident in Lusaka, Zambia, is the only gang that has no boundary as they poach inland, targeting all rhino properties. Dumisani Moyo is on the International Police Red Notice.”

Ms Washaya-Moyo said Mozambican poaching groups targeted Gonarezhou and Save Valley Conservancy where they kill elephants.

She said most of the poaching activities taking place inland were perpetrated by syndicate members of different groups hired to form one larger organised gang.

They exchange notes in cyanide use and provision, knowledge of geographical areas and teach each other local language for blending with the community.

Ms Washaya-Moyo said firearm shortages had not deterred poaching activities.

“The mere fact that a total of 22 illegal firearms have been removed from circulation in 2016 alone has resulted in firearm shortages to local poachers, resulting in groups hiring weapons from places far-afield as Muzarabani, Gokwe, Kwekwe and Mbire district to go and poach in Save Valley Conservancy, Gonarezhou, Bubye and Hwange areas,” she said.

Ms Washaya-Moyo said although Government arms like the Judiciary, police, prosecution and Zimparks had made significant breakthrough in ensuring that cases were investigated properly and dockets compiled to standard, the granting of bail to suspects was complicating issues.

“Accused persons when granted bail violate their conditions of bail and re-offend,” she said. “A worrying trend is that the poachers make subscriptions to established law firms for legal advice in the event of being arrested, a clear indication of syndicates at play.

“Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority will continue to lobby for consistency in wildlife cases that appear before the courts countrywide.”

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