2 Byo men jailed 20 years for unlawful ivory possession

Edwin Moyo

Bulawayo-Hlupani Austin Sibanda (60) and Ellmone Nkomo (49) of Bulawayo were sentenced by the Tredgold Magistrates’ Court in Bulawayo for unlawful possession of raw ivory as defined in Section 45(1)(b) of the Parks and Wildlife Act.

The duo was arrested following a tip-off received by the police regarding their involvement in illegal ivory trading.

Circumstances are that on the 11th of April 2024, authorities received information indicating that Sibanda and Nkomo were soliciting potential buyers for raw ivory at the Entumbane High School turnoff in Bulawayo. Acting swiftly upon the tip-off, law enforcement officials proceeded to the mentioned location, where they spotted the accused individuals carrying a white sack.

Upon identifying themselves, the police conducted a search, leading to the discovery of two pieces of raw ivory in the possession of Sibanda and Nkomo. Notably, the accused failed to produce any permit authorizing them to hold such contraband, resulting in their immediate arrest.

The seized ivory, weighing approximately 21.75 kilograms, served as evidence in the subsequent legal proceedings. During the trial, it was revealed that Sibanda had a past history of similar offenses.

Sibanda, identified as a repeat offender, was sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment whilst Nkomo received a 9-year sentence for his involvement in the illicit trade of ivory.

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