A police sergeant yesterday appeared in court accused of stealing 10 loaded rifles at the National Armoury and supplying them to poachers. Alouis Mabika (46) appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Elisha Singano and was granted $200 bail. He is facing theft charges and was remanded to October 12.

He is represented by Mr Tungamirai Muganhiri. The prosecutor, Ms Tatenda Murindagomo opposed bail saying Mabika is a flight risk. However, his lawyer Mr Muganhiri argued that bail is not a form of punishment, but a surety that an accused stands trial.

 “The accused has 18 years experience and served his country without a single blemish. He wants to reach his pensionable 20 years and that is his motivation and not to abscond,” said Mr Muganhiri.

Mabika was a stores man at the National Armoury, Morris Depot in Harare. It is alleged that between 2009 and 2016 he stole an AK 47, a 3,75 rifle, three 30,06 rifles, two 7,9 rifles, a 303 rifle and two FN rifles.

All the firearms were loaded with rounds of ammunitions. He allegedly sold the firearms to Obiat Shumba of Gokwe who is a poacher.

The court heard that two firearms were recovered from Shumba while another was recovered from Stanley Musukuma.

Shumba (42) has already appeared in court on allegations of illegally supplying an AK47 assault rifle and ammunition to suspected poachers in the Chirisa Game Reserve.

It is the State’s case that sometime between 2009 and 2012, Shumba obtained an AK47 rifle and two magazines loaded with an unknown number of live rounds of ammunition from Mabika, without a valid firearms certificate.

Shumba allegedly sold the firearm and two magazines to Musukuma, a teacher at Chirisa Primary School, who resides in the Simuchembo area.

It is alleged that in September this year, detectives received information that Shumba was in possession of a rifle. He was arrested at Madzivazvido business centre.