By Judith Sibanda
The trial of former Victoria Falls mayor Sifiso Mpofu and his co-accused who are facing charges of possessing 11 elephant tusks failed to kick off this week after the state announced it was not yet ready.
Mpofu (42) and his co-accused Milton Sibindi (47) and Patrick Sibanda (49) from Mkhosana suburb, who are out on bail, appeared for routine remand before Victoria Falls magistrate Ms. Lindiwe Maphosa and were further remanded to April 26.
State representative Onias Nyathi said the state was not ready to proceed to trial as they are still conducting investigations.
The allegations are that on March 7, a team comprising of police officers and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers were on an anti-poaching night patrol in Mkhosana when they observed a white Toyota Harrier parked at house number 5449 where Mpofu resides.
“On 7 March 2019, a team comprising police and Zimparks rangers were on an anti-poaching patrol in Mkhosana. They observed a white Toyota Harrier parked in front of the gate at House Number 5449. Upon seeing the team the driver sped off,” reads part of the state outline.
The anti-poaching team also allegedly saw the three accused persons carrying three elephants tusks each walking towards the gate. The three dropped the ivory and started running away prompting the officers to fire a warning shot into the air leading to the arrest of the trio.
Two more tusks were recovered from Mpofu’s bedroom. The 11 tusks were taken to Victoria Falls Police Station.