21 June 2019

Zimbabwe: Bulawayo Man in Court After Being Found With Ivory

A Bulawayo man Thursday appeared before a regional magistrate in the city for possessing raw unmarked ivory tusks weighing 15 kilogrammes.

Peter Phosa (58), a worker at Soft Test Technologies, appeared before magistrate Joseph Mabeza facing charges of contravening section 82 (1) of the Parks and Wild Life.

The state, led by Jetro Mada, alleged that on 2 April this year and at around 1500 hours, police detectives received information that Phosa was in possession of elephant ivory in his blue Nissan Almera vehicle and was looking for buyers.

A follow up was made at 1540 hours by the detectives and rangers from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority investigation section.

"The accused was seen driving the motor vehicle registration number ADV1968 along Gwanda road coming from the city centre. The car then turned left into Peach road in Sunninghill," Mada told court.

"The detectives and the Park Rangers stopped the vehicle and identified themselves to the accused. They found the ivory in his car."

The accused was immediately arrested.

The arresting officer Tatenda Chinyati said in court that Phosa told the police he had picked the ivory from a haulage truck along the Victoria Falls road.

Chinyati also told court that the vehicle which Phosa was driving belonged to a lecturer at United College of Education (UCE).

Phosa said through his lawyer Tinashe Runganga that he had borrowed the vehicle in which the ivory was found suggesting he was a victim of a set up.

The matter will resume on 15 July after the state prosecutors indicated he wanted to bring in another witness.

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