A South African hunter carrying live rounds of ammunition was arrested over the weekend after he drove his vehicle through the barricades at President Mugabe’s State House along Borrowdale Road at around 3am.
The hunter was fined $150 by a Harare court for trespassing into Mugabe territory.
Adriaan Philip Olivier (30), who is a professional hunter employed by Save Safaris in Devure Range, Bikita, was convicted on his own plea of guilty.
The road is only open to motorists between 6am and 6pm every day for security reasons.
When he was arrested, Olivier was in possession of nine live rounds of ammunition.
He pleaded for the court’s leniency, arguing that he was not familiar with the rules and regulations of that area.
In passing sentence, magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube took note that Olivier was a first offender who pleaded guilty and did not waste the court’s time. “First offenders need to be treated with leniency,” he said. “He also has a sick child that he needs to take care of.”
Mr Ncube said the fact that Olivier was not familiar with the area was not an excuse. “In mitigation he said that he is not familiar with the capital city,” he said. “However, that is not an excuse for not observing road signs and police directions.”
Mr Ncube then ordered Olivier to pay a $150 fine or risk going to prison for two months. Olivier was represented by Mr Innocent Chingarande.
Prosecutor Ms Francesca Mukumbiri told the court that on May 7 around 3am, Olivier was driving a white Landcruiser along Chancellor Drive, Harare.
He was coming from Borrowdale going towards the city centre. The road passes through State House and Zimbabwe House and there are traffic signs informing motorists that the road is closed at 6pm and 6am.
When Olivier arrived near Ngungunyana Building where the road is barricaded with drums and spikes, he did not stop.
He failed to observe the “Police Ahead” sign and avoided the drums before his vehicle’s tyres were deflated by the spikes.
He stopped after travelling a further 20 metres and was immediately arrested. herald