Crime and Courts

Kyle Park duo convicted for possession of  lion heads worth US$100k

TWO men, who were found in possession of five lion head skulls, which they intended to sell, were yesterday fined for the offence.

Shelton Chibaya (36) and Benedict Mutinhima (31) work at Kyle Recreational Park in Masvingo.

They appeared before Harare magistrate Ruth Moyo and were charged with contravening the Parks and Wildlife Act.

They were both fined US$100 each after pleading guilty

Prosecutor Mandirasa Chigumira proved that between February 1 to 16 this year, the duo picked the five lion head skulls in the Micho bush area, near Liveson Wild Farm, Masvingo, with the intention to sell them.

On February 16, Chibaya connived with Patson Ndlovu, who is already on remand, and transported the five lion head skulls from Masvingo to Harare where they intended to sell them.

They took the lion head skulls to Mazowe Mansion flats, at the corner of Mazowe Street and Baines Avenue, for safekeeping while they were looking for buyers.

The court heard that on the following day, at around 9am, Detectives from CID Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit received information that the accused persons were in possession of lion head skulls.

Detectives disguised themselves as buyers and lured Chibaya and Ndlovu to bring out the lions heads which they were selling at US$1 500 each.

They were joined by a man who was only identified as Chaka, who is still at large.

They went to Chaka’s car and took out five lion head skulls.

Ndlovu and the detectives entered the detectives vehicle whilst Chibaya and Chaka remained outside the vehicle.

This is when the detectives revealed their identities and arrested them.

The recovered lion heads are valued at US$100 000.


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