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Shurugwi Men Caught Selling Hyena Meat to Local Villagers

Shurugwi Men Caught Selling Hyena Meat to Local Villagers

SHURUGWI – Magistrate Percy Mukumba has fined a Shurugwi man, Tinashe Mhlabati, US$100 or sentenced him to three months in jail for killing a hyena and selling approximately 45 kg of its meat to unsuspecting villagers in Shurugwi.

Additionally, Mhlabati, 25, from Village 8, Zhaugwe, has been ordered to pay US$1,000 in compensation to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks).

Mhlabati pleaded guilty in court on Wednesday, admitting he hunted the hyena with six dogs, killed it, and sold its meat to unsuspecting villagers. He was also caught cooking some of the meat at his home, where police found the hyena’s tail.

The incident occurred last Friday around 1 pm in Zhaugwe. Hyena fur is considered poisonous, and in some African traditions, hyenas are associated with witchcraft rituals.

Also read: Florence and Felix Pambukani Arrested Over Controversial Crowhill Stand Sales

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However, hyena meat is a delicacy in some parts of the world, such as Saudi Arabia.

Mhlabati and an accomplice, Artwell Mukoki, who remains at large, hunted and killed the hyena with six dogs. They skinned the animal, consumed some of the head, and sold most of the meat at Zhaugwe Business Centre.

Police, acting on a tip-off, visited Mhlabati’s home, where they discovered the hyena’s tail and some cooked meat. Four hyena legs were found at Mukoki’s residence, but he evaded arrest.

The recovered remains, weighing 1.95 kg, were confirmed by ZimParks in Gweru to be from a spotted hyena, which typically weighs around 50 kg when fully grown.

Prosecutor Tadadzwa Guzete handled the case.

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