Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Zim elephant poacher shot, sentenced to 16 months in prison

An elephant poacher, who was shot and wounded by game rangers in February before police arrested him, was last week jailed for 16 months by a Karoi magistrate. Magistrate, Mr Obidience Matare suspended eight months of the two-year sentence on Nobody Mukombwe (28) of village 3, Dzebonde under Chief Chundu in Hurungwe. Prosecutor Mr Benjamin Negato proved that on February 26 this year Mukombwe, in the company of Douglas Feremingo and Useni brothers Hedge, Givemore and Andriya, armed themselves with a 303 Lee-Enfield rifle, axes and kitchen knives before they entered Mukanga National Park for hunting elephants. Around 5pm on the same day, they established a base in the park before killing a female adult elephant. After removing its tusks, they retired to a spot along Kachowe River where they made a fire and started preparing their supper. An employee at Kachowe Hunting Camp heard gunshots while fishing along Kachowe River and alerted Mukanga National Parks rangers on patrol. The rangers found the fresh foot prints of the five and tracked them until they came to the fresh elephant carcass. After the rangers trailed further, they heard some low voices and saw smoke drifting from a spot along the Kachowe River.On drawing closer, they saw two of the five poachers sleeping close to a fire with the others preparing supper. The rangers opened fire and killed the two Useni brothers Givemore and Hedge. Mukombwe escaped with gunshot wounds and was arrested at Karoi Hospital a few days later while seeking treatment. The other two poachers are still at large. The rangers recovered the rifle with seven rounds of ammunition in its magazine, a pair of tusks, axes and kitchen knives. Source: The Herald

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