Zimbabwe: $3 Million Rhino Horn Theft - Zimparks Bosses Seek Acquittal

A southern white rhinoceros grazes (file photo).
3 November 2017

A former Parks and Wildlife director has applied for acquittal in a case where he is charged with concealing an audit report after some 53 rhino horns worth about $3million went missing.

Through his lawyer Lovemore Madhuku, Edson Chidziva argued that he was once arrested over a missing rhino horn only to be acquitted by the courts.

The lawyer said prosecutors were now charging his client with the same offence and only changed the number of horns missing to 53.

According to the attorney, this unconstitutional.

"Circumstances and dates remains the same, so the charge has not changed," said Madhuku.

"My client was once acquitted of the same charge back in 2015' so we give notice to the State that we will submit our written application with regards to this issue."

Chidziya is charged together with subordinates Pedgewell Mazoyo, Gift Kuwora, who has also sought acquittal, as well as and former security officer Munyaradzi Nhira.

The former parks boss faces criminal abuse of office charges while his alleged accomplices were charged with theft of trust property.

Prosecutor George Manokore indicated that between 2012 and May 2013 Chidziva was appointed substantive director general and that his role was to report to the board and oversee the smooth running of the authority.

Court heard that during this time, Chidziva caused a breach of security procedures after he allegedly made his accomplices swap keys to Zimparks' strong room where the ivory was being kept.

According to the prosecution, it was after this "illegal arrangement, that the horns disappeared from the strong room.

Chidziva failed to report this to the board and also concealed an audit report which exposed the theft of the rhino horns.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: New Zimbabwe

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.