ZANU PF Ward 18 councillor Mphathiswa Ncube was yesterday named as a poacher who has previously been fined twice by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks) for illegal fishing.
Ncube was reportedly trying to fix South African Frederick Wilhelm August Lutzkie for exposing him by fabricating charges against him.
This was heard in court when Lutzkie appeared before Gwanda magistrate Sheila Nazombe facing charges of acting disorderly in a public place by using threatening, insulting and abusive words against Ncube and possessing camouflage outfit.
Lutzkie denied both charges through his lawyer Vonani Majoko and argued that Ncube had fabricated the allegations after Lutzkie exposed him as a poacher with previous convictions during a Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (Campfire)
meeting - making him ineligible to participate.
Majoko cited receipt numbers of the fines issued to Ncube after paying the fines.
Campfire Gwanda district chairperson Sibonile Gumbi, who was called as a State witness, told the court that Ncube would not have been eligible to seat in the committee if he had previous convictions.
Majoko argued that in November 2011 and sometime in 2012, Ncube pleaded guilty to illegal netting fish at Sibizini Dam and paid fines for the offences.
Ncube, however, said he was not the one who was caught poaching, but had paid fines for those who had been arrested using his boat.
"You want to fix the accused because of the exposure of your previous convictions. You are abusing the criminal justice system by wanting the courts to settle your personal vendetta against the accused," Majoko said.
Majoko also argued that Doddieburn Ranch was private property where Lutzkie is in partnership with the Gwanda Rural District Council and the meeting venue belonged to his client and could therefore not be deemed as a public place.
In denying charges of illegal possession of camouflage kit, Majoko said Lutzkie was never found in possession of the clothing as he was in South Africa when the police found it.
Despite State witness Detective Constable Moyo indicating that one of the shirts was inscribed "Captain Lutzkie", Majoko argued the surname Lutzkie was not peculiar to his client only.
Moyo concurred with Majoko that the recovered items could have belonged to any other person who had visited Doddieburn Lodge.
Allegations against Lutzkie were that on May 18, detectives from the Law and Order section were investigating a case of failing to report an aircraft accident at Doddieburn Farm.
During the investigations, the detectives discovered an assortment of camouflage clothing that included trousers, shirts and jackets.
The State further alleged that on June 18, villagers at Doddieburn Farm held a Campfire meeting where Lutzkie asked to be introduced.
When he got to Ncube, he allegedly accused him of causing trouble at the farm.
"Yah, Mphathiswa, you are the one causing all this trouble at the farm. You are taking information from the farm and passing it to outsiders. I want to meet you face-to-face in private and l will fix you," Lutzkie allegedly said.
The trial continues today.