TWO soldiers were on Thursday sentenced to nine years in jail for illegal possession of ivory.Wilfred Minesi (33) and Virimayi Nyandoro (36) who were employees of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) stationed at One Commando Regiment in Harare appeared before magistrate Ruth Moyo.
They were facing charges of contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act.Their alleged accomplices Maxwell Nduna and Micheal Zhaunkinyu were acquitted due to lack of evidence.State prosecutor Mandy Chigumira said on April 2 in 2021, detectives from CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit Harare received information that there were men looking for potential buyers of ivory.
Detectives managed to contact Nduna who led them to the suspects.Upon meeting with the detectives, Minesi and Nyandoro confirmed having two elephant tusks that they intended to sell for US$40 per kilogramme.
The duo said it had hidden the ivory in Mukuvisi River near Brooks Drive, Hillside, Harare.They then led detectives to Mukuvisi River where the ivory was retrieved.
Upon seeing the ivory, the detectives identified themselves as CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit members.The court heard that the duo failed to produce any licence or permit that authorised it to possess the ivory, leading to its arrest.