A SENIOR intelligence officer of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has denied stealing rhino horns worth k3,587,500 which were exhibits in a case.
This is a case within a case in which two Zambia Airforce officers and two Namibian businessmen are alleged to have been found in possession of rhino horns.
The horns have allegedly disappeared from the exhibits strong room.
Lameck Mumba, 39, of Kabanana compound in Lusaka, appeared in the Lusaka Magistrates Court yesterday after being arrested and charged with theft by servant and destroying evidence.
Denying the charges before Magistrate Greenwell Malumani, Mumba denied committing the offence.
He is in count one accused of theft by public servant contrary to section 272 and 279 of the laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that Mumba on May 25 this year, being a senior intelligence officer in ZAWA, did steal the rhino horns valued at K3, 587,500 which came into his possession by virtue of his employment.
He is in count two accused of destroying evidence contrary to section 111 of the laws of Zambia.
Mumba is alleged to have on May 23 wilfully removed the pair of rhino horns from the investigations strong room knowing that the same would be required in evidence in a judicial proceeding before Magistrate Allen Mweene.
He has since been granted bail in the sum of K100,000 in his own recognisance with two working sureties and his trial was set to open on July 8.
Previously accused in the case were Mwiya Masheke and Mutemwa Masheke, a ZAF captain and flight sergeant respectively, and two Namibians Nefuma Stefanus and Martin Manyimba who denied being in possession of the rhino horns.
The quartet are facing one count of unlawful possession of prescribed trophy contrary to section 86 (1) and (2) of the National Parks and Wild Life Act no. 4 of 2015 of the laws of Zambia.
It is alleged that the quartet on May 13 jointly and while acting together with other persons unknown had in their possession two rhinoceros horns without a certificate of ownership issued by the director of National Parks and Wildlife.
The suspects, who are expected to appear in court on June 27 for trial, were arrested in Chawama while in possession of the contraband weighing over 3 kg.