Zimbabwe Man Jailed For 15 Years For Poisoning Elephants

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A Zimbabwe court on Wednesday sentenced a poacher to more than 15 years in prison for poisoning and killing elephants with cyanide, the fourth such conviction in the country in a month.

The court in the western town of Hwange also found Akim Masuku, 26, guilty of illegal possession of ivory, handing down a total jail term of 15-and-a-half years, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority said in a statement.

The accused still faces separate charges for cyanide possession and for contravening environmental laws, wildlife officials stated.

The case comes a day after the Parks and Wildlife Authority said 100 elephants had been killed by cyanide for their ivory in a single national park in just over a month.

“One hundred elephants have died in Hwange National Park due to cyanide poisoning and 12 people have since been arrested and four have been convicted and sentenced,” it stated.

Masuku’s co-accused Norma Ncube, 18, is set to appear in court on October 30.

Three other poachers were in September sentenced to a minimum of 15 years each for poisoning 81 elephants.

They were also ordered to pay $600,000 (440,000 euro) to the wildlife authority for killing the animals.

Officials have given villagers living around the park until the end of October to hand over any cyanide they might have or risk arrest.

There are more than 120,000 elephants roaming Zimbabwe’s poorly policed national parks.

Elephant tusks and other body parts are highly prized in Asia and the Middle East for ornaments, as talismans and for use in traditional medicine.

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Zimbabwe Church Suspends Couple For Dancing To “Worldly Secular” Music

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A newly wedded couple was last week was censured from Seventh Day Adventist by Sizinda SDA elders in Zimbabwe for dancing to worldly music at their wedding.Tinevimbo Maphosa and his wife, Moreblessing Sibanda were suspended from active participation in church programs.Church elders are stated.to be angry that the bride, Sibanda was doing ‘get down’ at her wedding held at Reynolds Inn on 7 July.Maphosa and Sibanda are not the only casualties of the church’s decision.Three members of their bridal team who are also youths at Sizinda SDA were affected.Mayibongwe Ncube, Tinotenda Nyakawa and Wellington Gurajena were given six months censure and two years ban for taking part in the wedding and dancing to circular music.B Metro reported that the songs which are Follow the leader by Dj Cyko ft zahara, Dj Ganyani ft Busiswa’s Xigubhu as well Dr Malinga’s via Orlando.Maphosa refused to comment on the matter but sources stated.church board members banned him and his wife but exonerated the wedding committee which gave permission to the playing of music.The development has created apostasy within Sizinda SDA church. Youths are now accusing church board members and elders of tribalism and favoritism when it comes to instituting disciplinary decisions.A church elder identified as Banwell refused to comment on the matter referring all the questions to the person who brought the story.
“I can’t say anything to you. Get all the details from the person who gave you the story,” he stated.

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US And UK Express Concern Over Zimbabwe Election Results

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the United States and UK have expressed concern after official results from Zimbabwe’s elections gave President Robert Mugabe a seventh term in office amid claims of electoral fraud.US Secretary of State John Kerry stated.the results did not “represent a credible expression of the people”.But the regional power South Africa has congratulated Mr Mugabe on his victory.Mr Tsvangirai, though, rejected the vote for parliament and president as fraudulent and vowed to take legal action.He stated.his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would no longer work with Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party and boycott government institutions.The two parties have been in a coalition since 2009, after the last election sparked widespread violence.Results from this week’s parliamentary election handed the MDC a defeat. It won just 49 seats compared with Zanu-PF’s 158.South Africa issued a statement from President Jacob Zuma extending “profound congratulations” to Mugabe following the “successful, harmonised elections”Major Western groups were not invited to send observer missions to monitor Wednesday’s election.the United States has described the vote as “deeply flawed”.
“In light of substantial electoral irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers, the United States does not believe that the results represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people,” Mr Kerry stated.Former colonial power the UK also expressed “grave concerns” over reports of large numbers of voters being turned away from polling stations.British Foreign Minister William Hague urged a thorough investigation of all allegations of violations.Meanwhile the European Union which maintains sanctions on Mr Mugabe and his senior aides, stated.it was worried about “alleged irregularities and reports of incomplete participation” in the election.Monitoring groups also disagreed over the conduct of the election.

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Controversy As Mugabe Party Claims Zimbabwe Election Win

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President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party claimed a landslide victory on Thursday in Zimbabwe’s elections, but its rival, Prime Minster Morgan Tsvangira’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), stated.there had been “monumental fraud”.Wednesday’s voting was peaceful across the southern African nation, but the early conflicting claims from the two sides heralded an acrimonious dispute over the outcome and raised fears of a repeat of violence that marred a 2008 election.Releasing unofficial results early in Zimbabwe is illegal, and police have stated.they will arrest anybody who makes premature claims about the result. Election authorities were due to announce results within five days from Wednesday. But a senior source in Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, who asked not to be named, stated.the outcome was already clear.”We’ve taken this election. We’ve buried the MDC. We never had any doubt that we were going to win,” the source stated.on Thursday.Riot police took up positions outside the party’s headquarters in central Harare and other key locations in the capital. MDC offices appeared to be almost deserted.An independent election monitor in Zimbabwe, who also could not be named for fear of arrest, stated.early results were looking like a “disaster” for Tsvangirai, who was making his third bid to unseat the 89-year-old Mugabe.Responding to the ZANU-PF claim, a high-ranking source in Tsvangirai’s MDC party described the election as “a monumental fraud”:
“Zimbabweans have been taken for a ride by ZANU-PF and Mugabe. We do not accept it,” the source, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.The MDC was to hold an emergency meeting later on Thursday.Several political sources stated.key MDC members had lost their seats. even in the capital, Tsvangirai’s main support base since he burst onto the political scene 15 years ago.

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Pan African Forum Rejects Obasanjo As AU Observer Head In Zimbabwe

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The Pan African Forum has rejected the African Union’s decision to name former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as head of the AU election observer team to Zimbabwe’s July 31st election.David Nyekorach-Matsanga, CEO of Pan African Forum, stated.the former Nigerian president is too divisive and could create an Egypt-style scenario in Zimbabwe.The group described former Obasanjo as a traitor who has betrayed Africa during past election monitoring missions around the continent.
“We don’t have any personal hatred against General Obasanjo, but this is a man who can never be trusted to observe any elections in this African continent,” he stated. Nyekorach-Matsanga stated.the Zimbabwe elections are critical not only to the southern Africa region, but to the whole of Africa.
“We need sober minds, a cool observer, a person who is not erratic, a person who has not betrayed Africa before, a person who has never used double standard, and a person who has never failed election observers before,” he stated.He stated.Obasanjo betrayed Africa during past election monitoring missions around the continent.
“In Ghana, Obasanjo created a problem when he was the leader of an observer team; in Togo, Obasanjo created a problem; in Senegal, Obasanjo created a problem; in DRC, when Obasanjo was the leader of the negotiations between (renegade CNDP rebel leader Laurent) Nkunda and the Congolese government, he created a problem and aborted that mission,” he stated.Nyekorach-Matsanga stated.the former Nigerian president has no democratic credentials to lead a continental election monitoring mission because, as president of Nigeria, Obasanjo attempted to change the constitution in 2006 to give himself a third term. In addition, Nyekorach-Matsanga stated.Obasanjo cannot be an impartial observer because he has in the past called Mugabe’s resignation.
He said, he’s not biased in criticizing Obasanjo.

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Obasanjo To Lead AU Election Monitors To Zimbabwe

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Former Nigerian president, a former soldier who headed a military government between 1976 and 1979 and served an eight-year term as an elected president between May 1999 and May 2007, Olusegun Obasanjo will lead a team of 60 African Union monitors to Zimbabwe for the July 31 election, the organisation stated.Friday. Obasanjo will arrive in Zimbabwe 10 days before the vote, which has already been overshadowed by allegations of political intimidation and electoral rolls packed with “ghost voters”. In a statement, the AU stated.the monitors — drawn from African NGOs and member countries — will work with nine observers already on the ground.

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