Fugitive found with 12 elephant tusks at rural home (Zimbabwe)


Leonard Ncube, The Chronicle

Date Published

A fugitive who was wanted by police for a spate of unlawful entry and theft cases in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park and Luveve suburbs has been arrested with his teenage wife at his rural home in Dete where police also recovered 12 elephant tusks valued at $92, 000.

Norman Tshuma (29) of Magoli village had been on the run as police hunted him for the Bulawayo cases. 

On New Year’s Day, police got a tip off that Tshuma was at his homestead and raided him two days later. During the raid just after midnight, police requested to search his bedroom hut and found the 12 pieces of raw ivory stashed in two travel bags.

Tshuma and wife Nobuhle Faith Sithole (19) were arrested after they failed to produce a permit allowing them to possess or deal in ivory.

The duo appeared before Hwange magistrate Ms Ailene Munamati to answer to a charge of possession of ivory. Tshuma pleaded guilty while his wife denied the charge.

They were both remanded in custody to a later date while a determination will be made on Tshuma’s other cases.

Procecuting Mr John Mutyavaviri said: “On January 1 police received information that Tshuma who was involved in a spate of unlawful entry into premises and theft in Luveve and Cowdray Park in Bulawayo was at his homestead, “ said Mr Mutyavaviri.

He said police mobilised and raided the homestead last Friday.

“The team of police officers arrested Tshuma at 2AM for cases of unlawful entry and theft. The team then conducted a search in the bedroom hut and found 12 pieces of raw unmarked ivory,” said the prosecutor.

The couple was immediately arrested while the ivory weighed 24.6kg and was valued at $92 250.