Hwange (Indonsakusa-New Ziana) – In a case that could help shed light on incidents of elephant cyanide poisoning in Matabeleland North, a couple was recently arrested after being found in possession of ivory weighing 25 kilogrammes.
Norman Tshuma, (29), of Magoli Village, Gwayi was arrested together with his 18-year-old wife, Nobuhle Faith Sithole on January 3 this year.
The couple briefly appeared before Hwange Magistrate Ailene Munamati on charges of illegal possession of ivory and was remanded in custody to January 21.
Tshuma was also on a police wanted list for allegedly being part of a gang of robbers that broke into 16 houses in Cowdray Park in Bulawayo and stole goods worth thousands of dollars.
In the elephant poaching case, the court heard that on January 3 this year, Tshuma and his wife were arrested at Magoli Village by a joint team of police and parks officials after a tip off. The police and the parks officials searched his homestead and found 12 pieces of ivory weighing 25 kilogrammes.
Tshuma allegedly admitted that he had used cyanide to poison the elephants in the Gwayi Communal area, leading to the death of four elephants.
In the house breaking case, according to the police, Tshuma, allegedly in the company of Milton Sibanda, (27), and Itai Gotora, (46) broke into several houses in Bulawayo, but he escaped arrest.
His alleged accomplices were nabbed, but he retreated to his rural home where he was eventually arrested for a different case.
The gang allegedly stole property worth $200 000.
Meanwhile, in a related case, a 56-year-old Matetsi man was recently arrested in Victoria Falls after he was found in possession of a 1.4 meter long Python skin.