A GAME scout who connived with two others to kill a rhinoceros and de-
horn it at Eldorado Farm in Macheke, in north-eastern Zimbabwe, before trying to smuggle it to South Africa has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
Zivanai Masvaire (27), a game scout at the farm was jointly charged with Charles Dowerowe (37) and Shepherd Naite (37). The three pleaded not guilty to poaching and an alternative charge of unlawful possession of a trophy of an endangered species when they appeared before regional magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya.
However, they were convicted because of overwhelming evidence. Mr Mujaya sentenced Masvaire and Dewerowe to eight years for poaching and a further two years, which will run concurrently with the poaching sentence for robbery of a motor vehicle.
Mr Mujaya suspended two years of their sentence on condition of good behaviour. Naite, who did not go to the farm, will serve an effective four years. In passing sentence, Mr Mujaya concurred with prosecutor Mr Michael Reza that the three had committed a very serious offence warranting imprisonment.
"You three were selfish, there is no better explanation for your behaviour of plundering the country's natural resources and export them for the benefit of just a few people," he said. He said poaching has always been considered a very serious offence. Mr Reza had implored the court to pass a lengthy prison term.
The State proved that on December 31 last year, Masvaire, Dowerowe, Naite and their accomplices hatched a plan to kill a rhinoceros at Eldorado Farm in Macheke.Masvaire reportedly directed his accomplices into the farm where they killed a rhinoceros and dehorned it.
Investigations led to his arrest and he implicated Dowerowe and the others. Dowerowe and Naite led police to the recovery of the horns, which were stashed in an Isuzu KB300, registration number ABI8755, which they were driving.