Zimbabwe man jailed for 15 years for poisoning elephants

2013-10-17 08:39

Harare – A Zimbabwe court has sentenced a poacher to more than 15 years in prison for poisoning and killing elephants with cyanide, the fourth such conviction in the country in a month.

The court in the western town of Hwange also found Akim Masuku (26) guilty of illegal possession of ivory, handing down a total jail term of 15-and-a-half years, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority said in a statement.

The accused still faces separate charges for cyanide possession and for contravening environmental laws, wildlife officials said.

The case comes a day after the Parks and Wildlife Authority said 100 elephants had been killed by cyanide for their ivory in a single national park in just over a month.

“One hundred elephants have died in Hwange National Park due to cyanide poisoning and 12 people have since been arrested and four have been convicted and sentenced,” it said.

Masuku’s co-accused Norma Ncube (18) is set to appear in court on October 30.

Three other poachers were in September sentenced to a minimum of 15 years each for poisoning 81 elephants.

They were also ordered to pay $600,000 (R5.92 million) to the wildlife authority for killing the animals.

Officials have given villagers living around the park until the end of October to hand over any cyanide they might have or risk arrest.

There are more than 120 000 elephants roaming Zimbabwe’s poorly policed national parks.

Elephant tusks and other body parts are highly prized in Asia and the Middle East for ornaments, as talismans and for use in traditional medicine.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.