Suspected poacher gets bail

rhinopoachingBULAWAYO - Poachers have reportedly killed seven rhinos in Bulawayo and Chiredzi in recent weeks in an unprecedented onslaught on the endangered species, forcing the government to deploy security forces in rhino sanctuaries.

A Bulawayo magistrate last week granted bail to a second man out of a group of six who are suspected to have killed and dehorned a rhino at Matopos National Park two weeks ago.

Mbusi Mkandla (35) of Nkulumane 5 was released on US$50 bail after his lawyer, Tanaka Muganyi of Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga and Partners successfully applied for bail.

Mkandla was arrested on 29 January together with Morgan Moyo (44), of Ndlabatsha Village Matobo, Zhuwau Phiri (42) Mpopoma, Rodrick Fasa (29) Figtree, Innocent Chirwa (39), of Emganwini and Mthokozisi Dube (39), whose address was not given.

They are being charged with contravening Section 45 (1) (a) as read with Section 128 (a) of the Parks and Wildlife Act, Chapter 20:04, hunting of any animal on any land.

Muganyi said the States case against Mkandla was weak because the police had arrested him because they found Zhuwau at a plot where he (Mkandla) was employed.

The State consented that Mkandlas arrest was tantamount to abuse of a persons right to liberty and that the only remedy was to admit him to bail.

Chirwa was also granted US$100 bail on their initial appearance on 4 February after his lawyer, Mr Mlamuli Ncube of Cheda and Partners successful applied for bail.

The six indicated that they were not admitting to committing the offence.

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