HARARE – A game ranger, a police officer and a retired police officer were charged Wednesday for unlawful possession of 28.35kg of ivory.
Hwange National Park ranger Simibio Kakomo, 38, Shepherd Musiniwa, 31, who works for the Police Support Unit based at Chikurubi camp in Harare and Ernest Kabanda, 44, were not asked to plead during a brief appearance before Harare magistrate Babra Mateko.
The magistrate remanded the trio in custody to April 20 after advising them to apply for bail at the High Court.
The court heard the ivory is worth ZW$703,574 (about US$4,500).
The three men were arrested on April 4 at Kamfinsa Shopping Centre after detectives from CID MFFU received information that there were three men in possession of elephant tasks who were looking for potential buyers.
The court heard that the detectives, posing as buyers, contacted Kabanda whom they met at a Total Service Station on Julius Nyerere Way. After meeting up with Kabanda, they proceeded to Kamfinsa Shopping Centre to meet with his partners and make arrangements for the transaction.
Once at Kamfisa, the detectives negotiated a price of US$50 per kilogramme.
“When the negotiations were done, two of the accused vanished behind the nearby buildings and they returned with a big bag containing the ivory. The detectives then introduced themselves to the trio which led to their arrest,” said Thomas Chanakira for the prosecution.