School head found with 25kg ele­phant tusks

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Fair­ness Moy­ana

PO­LICE have ar­rested two men, one of them a head­mas­ter at a school in Tsholot­sho, for il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of ele­phant tusks weigh­ing about 25kg.

Thokozani Mafikela (43), a head­mas­ter at Mak­haza Pri­mary School but re­sid­ing in Bulawayo’s Loben­gula sub­urb and Ni­cholas Ndlovu (22) of Si­longwe Vil­lage un­der Chief Siphoso in Tsholot­sho ap­peared be­fore Hwange res­i­dent mag­is­trate, Ms Rose Dube charged with il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of ivory.

Ms Dube did not ask them to plead and re­manded them in cus­tody to Septem­ber 5 for trial.

The duo was ar­rested last week fol­low­ing a st­ing op­er­a­tion to flush out peo­ple in pos­ses­sion of ele­phant tusks.

The raid was a re­ac­tion to an in­crease in poach­ing ac­tiv­i­ties at Hwange Na­tional Park which stretches to Tsholot­sho.

The pros­e­cu­tor, Ms Love­ness Maseko said on 17 Au­gust this year po­lice of­fi­cers teamed up with the Zim­babwe Parks and Wildlife Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity in­ves­ti­ga­tors after re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion that Mafikela was sell­ing ele­phant tusks.

“Re­act­ing to the in­for­ma­tion that two ele­phant tusks were in Ndlovu’s cus­tody they pro­ceeded to Si­longwe Vil­lage in Tsholot­sho to­gether with Mafikela, pre­tend­ing to be buy­ers,” said the pros­e­cu­tor. “They used Mafikela to flush out Ndlovu who came out of the home­stead car­ry­ing an ele­phant tusk, ready to fi­nalise the deal. It is then that the team iden­ti­fied them­selves be­fore ar­rest­ing the two.” Po­lice, the court heard, re­cov­ered two ele­phant tusks with a to­tal weight of 24.5kgs with a street value of $1 102 at the es­ti­mated price of $45 per kilo­gramme.

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