A drunk game scout from West Nicholson in Matabeleland South was arrested after he lost his firearm while drunk which was then used by a gold panner who took it to threaten someone, Chronicle reports. The matter came to light in court where Rodrick Sibanda (43), a game scout at Johnsly Ranch in West Nicholson pleaded guilty to failing to prevent a firearm from falling into the possession of an unauthorised person.
Gwanda Magistrate Ndumiso Khumalo fined him $1 200 or in default 14 days imprisonment and further sentenced him to one-month imprisonment which was wholly suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next two years.
It is the state’s case that:
On 5 September at around 5AM Rodrick reported for work at the ranch while armed with a shotgun. At around 7PM he went to Mr Sazini Sibanda’s tent along Umzingwane River while drunk carrying the firearm. Nkosilathi Ndlovu who was also drunk arrived at the scene and they had a misunderstanding over why Rodrick was threatening Mr Sibanda with the gun. Ndlovu then took the firearm from Rodrick and told him that he would bring it back once he was sober and went away with it,
The firearm was then used by 18-year-old Nkosilathi Ndlovu who was also convicted of pointing a firearm at someone according to the state’s case which alleges that:
On 5 September at around 7PM Ndlovu went to a tent along Umzingwane River while carrying a firearm and pointed it at Mr Talent Ncube who was seated by a fireplace with other people. He ordered Mr Ncube to lie down and threatened to shoot him with the gun if he didn’t comply.
Sibanda later arrived at the scene looking for his gun and he found Ndlovu holding the gun at Mr Ncube who was lying on the ground. Ndlovu fled from the scene with the firearm but later surrendered it to another game scout. The matter was reported to the police resulting in his arrest.