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Shot poacher escapes jail

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BINGA — A man who was shot in the knee by National Parks and Wildlife Management rangers while poaching wildlife at Chizarira National Park was yesterday lucky to escape jail as the magistrate warned and cautioned him, saying the injuries he sustained during the shooting were “permanent punishment”.

Takunda Gundani (27) of Simuchembu village in Gokwe was shot by rangers on December 23 last year and arrested while his accomplices fled.

The shooting occurred after they had killed a warthog and Gundani was fleeing from the scene with his share of the loot.

Following the shooting and arrest, Gundani was later admitted at Binga district hospital in a critical state under police guard.

He initially appeared before Binga magistrate Stephen Ndlovu at his hospital bed on January 5.

He was later transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo where he has been admitted, again under police guard.

Yesterday, Gundani appeared at the Binga court before magistrate Ndlovu in crutches.

He pleaded guilty to contravening Parks and Wildlife Management Act (unlawful hunting).

The magistrate convicted him, but warned and discharged him saying the injuries inflicted on him would serve as his sentence.

In January, Gundani told the court that on the fateful day he was hunting for game with his six accomplices. He said they killed a warthog and shared the meat.

But, as he was about to lift his share of 18kgs, rangers pounced and shot him in the knee without firing warning shots.

Bruce Maphosa represented the State in the case.

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