By Silas Nkala
An illegal ivory dealer arrested last year in possession of two elephant tusks, but absconded before being tried, was on Friday slapped with an effective nine years in jail.
Edson Mwedzi (44) of Chief Zimunya in Mutare pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared before Gokwe resident magistrate Shepherd Mjanja, who convicted and sentenced him to 10 years.
One year of the sentence was suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
The court heard that on September 4 2013 at around 8:10pm Francis Meya, an officer based at Gokwe Police Station, was manning a roadblock with other officers when a long-distance bus was stopped.
The officers searched the bus and Meya saw a sack in between Mwedzi’s legs.
He ordered him to open it and two elephant tusks weighing 5,61kg were discovered.
This led to his arrest, but he later disappeared until he was re-arrested recently.