An illegal poacher who set wire snares around Elephant Hills Hotel intending to catch impala and warthogs that roam around the golf-course and grounds has been jailed for an effective four months.
Thirty-one-year old Andrew Chipembere of Chinotimba suburb in Victoria Falls pleaded not guilty to using class one traps for purposes of catching animals when he appeared before Victoria Falls magistrate Rangarirai Gakanje last Friday.
He claimed he was wrongfully implicated. “I was just walking towards the river for fishing when the anti-poaching team said I had set wire snares. I always go fishing to raise money for my children,’ said Chipembere in his defence.
The magistrate, after hearing that Chipembere had been convicted twice in 2010 and 2012 for similar offences, sentenced him to four months in jail.
“The accused came up with a story to exonerate himself from a crime he committed. It can’t be coincidental that he is found in a restricted area where wires had been set.
“The state managed to prove its case beyond doubt and he is sentenced to four months,” said Gakanje.
In September 2010, Chipembere was jailed for one month while an additional month was suspended for five years with conditions.
In 2012, he was sentenced to two months in jail and the suspended one month was invoked and he ended up serving three months.
Prosecuting, Takunda Ndovorwi said Chipembere took to his heels when he was spotted by a team from the local Anti-Poaching Unit setting wire snares at the Elephant Hills Golf Course.
He said the team comprising Tanyala Ncube and Godwin Tshuma removed the snares and laid an ambush the following day upon which they arrested Chipembere when he returned to set the wires again.
Source: Hunter sets Impala snares around Elephant Hills Hotel, caged four months (22/05/16)