Illicit ivory trade earns man 9-yr term

Michael Magoronga Midlands Correspondent – The Herald – Zimbabwe’s largest newspaper

“A Gokwe man has been jailed nine years for illegally trading in ivory.

Gokwe Regional Magistrate Mr Christopher Maturure sentenced Cuthbert Sibanda of Ngondoma Village under Chief Njelele to an effective 9-year jail term after he pleaded guilty to unlawfully trading in ivory.

The court heard that on March 23 this year at around 1400 hours, police received information that Sibanda was selling ivory at Gokwe Centre and was looking for buyers.

Police officers then teamed up with officials from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and set a trap for him.

The team posed as prospective buyers and linked up with the accused person’s friend, whose identity was not revealed in court.

The team then linked up with Sibanda, who agreed to sell the ivory to them at $110 per kilogramme, but they negotiated for a lower figure of $100 per kilogramme.

After they agreed on a price, Sibanda led the “buyers” to Mafungautsi Depression where he was hiding the ivory.

When he showed them the ivory, the police produced their identity cards and arrested him.”

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