Mmegi Online

FRANCISTOWN: After nearly five years on the run, alleged Southern African poaching kingpin, Dumisani Moyo will finally be extradited to Botswana where he faces poaching related charges.

By Chakalisa Dube

According to the Botswana Police Service, the extradition process was delayed as authorities in Zimbabwe were still finalising paper work (to pave way for the extradition). Moyo is currently in police custody in Zimbabwe.

“Everything in relation to the extradition of Moyo has been finalised. We expect him to be handed to us anytime from now. According to an update, I have just received, by late next week he will be in Botswana to face trial,” police chief spokesperson Dipheko Motube said yesterday.

In Botswana, Moyo was reportedly found in illegal possession of a rhino horn during a roadblock somewhere in Francistown. He was subsequently charged with an offence of illegal possession of a government trophy.

Although Motube would not go into specifics Mmegi has established that both authorities in Zimbabwe and Botswana have assembled a high level security to facilitate the 52-year old’s extradition.

Moyo lost his court bid to block his extradition to Botswana in October this year. Then, Interpol Harare had approached court requesting for an extradition certificate in order to send Moyo to Botswana. Magistrate Josephine Sande ruled in favour of Interpol and granted the extradition certificate.

Moyo, who has been on Interpol red notice for some time, was arrested in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, nearly four months ago.

It is reported that after his arrest in Botswana he was placed on a P10,000 bail, but sneaked back into Zimbabwe illegally and hid in the Midlands city.

According to the Zimbabwean media, Moyo, when appearing before magistrate Sande, told the court that he feared the harsh treatment he is likely to receive at the hands of security organs in Botswana who have adopted a hard line stance towards poachers.

“Your Worship, do not be cheated by the State, they only want me to go to Botswana to face harsh treatment for the case I did not commit. I do not know if this country’s authority can allow its citizens to face that harsh treatment by Botswana’s security authority?” Moyo said, according Newsday.

Moyo is considered one of the most sophisticated poachers in SADC and is said to have facilitated poaching activities amounting to millions of US Dollars.

According to a study by the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime Beyond Borders titled ‘Crime, conservation and criminal networks in the illicit rhino horn trade’ there is some evidence that suggest that Moyo is well connected. He reportedly has close ties with officials from influential security bodies in SADC such as the Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

The study also stated that he has been accused of being “the principal sponsor of rhino and elephant poaching in Zimbabwe and Botswana. Intelligence agents in Botswana believe Moyo may also have been involved in poaching in South Africa’s Kruger National Park”.