Back to Index
poachers jailed as lawyers probe ‘torture’ claims
Bell, SW Radio Africa
October 30, 2013
Two more men
accused of poaching elephants in Zimbabwe were this week handed
jail sentences, amid an ongoing crackdown that has followed the
poisoning of dozens
of elephants in the Hwange National Park.
Dambudzo Munati on Monday sentenced Isaac Phiri and Johanne Musaka
to 11 years each in prison, after being arrested for elephant poaching
in 2008. During the time of the pair’s arrest, more than 20
elephant tusks were recovered along with AK47 rifles.
the spokesperson for Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management
Authority (Zimparks), on Wednesday welcomed the sentence, saying
such jail terms are a ‘deterrent’ to would-be poachers.
continue to engage the judiciary to ensure that there is consistency
in all wildlife cases brought before the courts. It is critical
for the judiciary to ensure that cases are completed to send the
proper message,” Washaya-Moyo told SW Radio Africa.
She added: “The
message is that it doesn’t matter if you were arrested in
2006, in 2008 or now, deterrent sentences are still going to be
The latest sentencing
follows similar jail terms handed to five other poachers, linked
to the mass cyanide poisoning of elephants ion the National Park
this year. The discovery of more than 80 elephant carcasses in late
August prompted international condemnation. Since then, Zimparks
has said that the number of elephants carcasses discovered has risen
to just over 100.
reiterated this on Wednesday, saying claims that more than 300 elephants
had died as a result of the cyanide poisoning were unfounded.
number of elephants that have died in Hwange National Park because
of cyanide poisoning is 100. These are elephant carcasses that we
have counted physically with our stakeholders,” Washaya-Moyo
in Zimbabwe have countered this information, saying the figure is
much higher. Johnny Rodrigues, the Chairman of the Zimbabwe
Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), said elephant carcasses were
already being discovered in Hwange in July. He said that eyewitnesses,
who flew over the park, counted hundreds of elephants and scores
of other wildlife.
also said that a “cover up” operation is underway at
the park, amid ongoing claims that high-level government ministers
could be involved in the poaching crisis.
are reportedly probing the claims of torture made by a poaching
suspect in Tsholotsho. Lot Zondo has said that and he and other
villagers were tortured by Zimparks rangers, who accused them of
being involved in the cyanide poisoning in Hwange.
Zondo was quoted
by the Southern Eye publication that he has instituted legal proceedings
against Zimparks with legal papers reportedly due to be filed over
Africa is Zimbabwe's Independent Voice and broadcasts on Short Wave
4880 KHz in the 60m band.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.