Five men convicted of killing 23 jumbos

via Five men convicted of killing 23 jumbos 16/11/2013 by Staff Reporter NewZimbabwe

FIVE villagers, who include an ex-cop, from Jotsholo in Lupane District will be sentenced Monday after they pleaded guilty to poisoning to death 23 elephants with cyanide.

The poisoning, which caused the loss of elephants and tusks valued at an estimated $1,2 million, took place in Ngamo Forest between August last year and October this year.

According to the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, 149 jumbos have been poisoned to death by poachers but independent groups claim the figure could be as high as 300.

Authorities have urged tough sentences for those convicted in a bid to stop an ecological disaster which, according to opposition groups, involves top officials in government and the security services.

Meanwhile, all the five villagers pleaded guilty when they appeared before Hwange magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa on Thursday and were remanded in custody to Monday for sentencing.

Former police officer William Ncube, 53, who was fingered by accomplices as the supplier of the cyanide told detectives that he was introduced to the scheme by people in government departments.

He faced two charges- one of possessing ivory and the other of discharging hazardous substances.

For the latter charge, he was jointly accused with charged with Sikhumbuzo Sibindi, of Fatima Village and Elvis Nkomo of Bhangale Village as well as Mkhululi Ncube and Johannes Munkombwe, both from Bhanda Village all under chief Mabhikwa.

The court heard that the five accomplices mixed cyanide with water and put it in buckets which they deposited in the bush close to drinking points for elephants.

Mkhululi Ncube and Munkombwa were said to have received an undisclosed quantity of cyanide from the former ZRP officer and, using the same method, killed 20 elephants, taking away 34 tusks.

Prosecutor Tawanda Sigauke urged stiff sentences saying cyanide was a lethal chemical whose effects were far-reaching.

“When consumed it causes clotting of blood and loss of oxygen and as a result the animal suffocates to death,” he said.

“Other animals are also in danger and there is a possibility that the chemical will dissolve into water bodies during the rainy season which will cause a health hazard for humans and the environment.”

About 5.67 kgs of cyanide were recovered at Munkombwa’s homestead while another 4kgs were recovered at Ncube’s homestead buried in a cattle pen



  • comment-avatar
    Washumba 9 years ago

    Brisk business

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 9 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    Doris 9 years ago

    So, easy, get them to say who gave them the cyanide!!

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    mutakura 9 years ago

    Get to the root of the problem- the supplier of the poison and the major buyers of the ivory. The police are just scratching on the surface of the problem by concentrating on these poverty stricken and semi literate starving villagers who are exploited by these greedy politicians in harare and bulawayo. These are the mafia who should be locked up

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    Cyanide is not an easy product to come by, and to lead us to believe that these villagers were the sole culprits is an insult to our intelligence. There are obviously hidden, well-connected hands at play in this whole fiasco.

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    Dustbug 9 years ago

    It is likely that there are highly influencial individuals involved in this dastardly act and should they hold government office and not be prosecuted, more of the same will occur in the future. I appeal to the investigators who probably have this knowledge, show us your true patriotic spirit so as to let the media and public know the names of these greedy and selfish individuals so we can begin the process of ridding the country of this filth once and for all.

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    We’re they kaukonde chiyangwa mliswa kasukuvere mandiwanzira.? Or was it chihuri chiwengwa cio mutasa mnangagwa? Or maybe chombo sekeramayi chinamasa gono? No you say. Let’s try mohadi mhofa mpofu mugabe mujuru. Perhaps all of them? Wow!!!!

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    Dunmore 9 years ago

    Now that we know, officially under oath, that some people in government were involved, can the police lead the nation to the arrest of these govt officials. Zanu yamama.