Francistown police recently raided the premises of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillor’s house, Zibanani Benifield, in a clampdown on suspected illegal ivory dealers believed to be on the loose in the Francistown area.
This is after two men were recently arrested at Galo Mall in Francistown while in possession of elephant tusks following a tipoff. The police were then led to the councilor’s house in Monarch location for a further probe.
It is alleged that the two suspected ivory dealers were found in possession of close to 23 pieces of elephant tusks and the suspicion was that some of the tusks were kept at Benifield’s place.
“It is true that I was called by police to the Francistown Police Station in connection with something to do with elephant tusks. The police were looking for a certain Opelo, who happens to be a friend to my son and has been staying at my place,” confirmed Benifield when contacted for a comment.
She added: “In a nutshell, the police were not necessarily looking for me. But I had to come into the picture because the person whom the police were looking for was staying at my place since they are friends with my son. In fact, my son and Opelo play softball together. Fortunately, no single elephant tusk was found at my house,” she said. ”
The civic leader further explained that police officers enlightened her about the possibility of her house having been used as a “centre of criminal activities, especially in illegal ivory trade.”
However, police were reluctant to shed any light on the said investigation.