FRANCISTOWN: In a move that would surely irk wildlife conservationists, an alleged Zimbabwean poaching kingpin was recently granted bail by a magistrate here.
The alleged poacher, Dumisani Moyo, 52, was repatriated from Zimbabwe to Botswana towards the end of last year to face a single count of being found with a rhinoceros horn without lawful cause in October 2012 along the Francistown-Orapa junction road.
Moyo was previously granted bail by the magistrate court here in 2012 but escaped without trace until he was arrested in Zimbabwe last year before being extradited to Botswana to face his alleged legal woes.
Granting the accused bail, Magistrate Lebogang Kebeetsweng said that in December 15, 2017, the prosecution applied for Moyo to be remanded in custody on the premise that he was a flight risk.
Kebeetsweng stated that Moyo has been in custody ever since he was extradited from Zimbabwe but the prosecution has failed to avail the investigating officer to give reasons why he should continue to be remanded in custody.
The magistrate added that records show that ever since Moyo was remanded in custody, the prosecution has been saying that it would bring the investigating officer to
Kebeetsweng said that she was left with no choice but to grant Moyo bail because his continued remand in custody is akin to trampling on his right of being presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
The magistrate then granted Moyo on condition that he pays P1,000, provide two sureties who shall each pay P500, surrender his passport, report at the offices of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Francistown once every fortnight and attend court as and when required to do so.
Kebeetsweng then ordered Moyo to appear in court for mention on July 3, 2018.
According to a study entitled ‘Beyond Borders: Crime, conservation and criminal networks in illicit rhino horn trade’, that was carried out by the Global Initiative against Transactional Organised Crime, the unemployed Moyo is a holder of both Zimbabwe and Zambia passports.
The study adds that Interpol has issued an international red notice calling for member states to arrest Moyo.