Two Zimbabweans caught with elephant tusks

Zimbabwean nationals, Prince Sakurita and Fortunate Mwanza, last week appeared before Francistown chief magistrate, Gabanagae Mokwadi, facing the charge of possession of an elephant tusk.

Prosecutors told the court that after a tip off on August 1 in Borolong Village, police officers found the two in possession of a tusk weighing 2.108kg and valued at P2, 405.

Sakurita, the first accused, was caught while looking for a buyer. After searching his bag, the police retrieved the elephant tusk. He was informed that the tusk would be tested and he would be required to produce a license or permit for possession if their suspicions were confirmed.

On the 4th of August 2009 a Botswana Government Wildlife Biologist certified the object to be an elephant tusk and approximated its value at P2 405.25. The Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) also weighed the task at 2.108kg and produced a weight certificate.

When he was presented with all the documents, Sakurita failed to produce the required license or permit, whereupon he was cautioned of the charge that he was facing. The accused pleaded guilty to the charges and the co-accused was discharged as there was insufficient evidence linking her to the crime.

Sakurita pleaded with the court to grant him a lenient sentence as he was the sole breadwinner and a first offender.