FOUR suspected rhino poachers arrested early this year following a shootout with wildlife rangers at Bubi Valley Conservancy in Mwenezi, were remanded in custody to June 29 after the State closed its case on Tuesday.
BY SILAS NKALA
The suspects, Nhamo Kufakunesu (38) of Glen View, Harare, Tatenda Melusi (30) of Zengeza 4, Moses Moses (34) of Muzarabani and Dominic Mazura (53) of Mwenezi, were denying the charge when they appeared before Beitbridge magistrate Langton Mkwengi.
The court heard that on January 1 this year, a wildlife ranger Ben Chivake came across the suspects’ foot prints in the conservancy and teamed up with his colleagues to track them.
In the process, the suspects laid an ambush at the rangers but were overpowered following an exchange of gunfire which left Kufakunesu injured as his alleged accomplices fled the scene.
Kufakunesu allegedly later implicated his accomplices, leading to their arrest and recovery of ammunition, several rifles and a getaway vehicle registered in his name.
Kufakunesu was rushed to Beitbridge Hospital before being transferred to the United Bulawayo Hospitals where he was treated and discharged into police custody before being arraigned in court together with his alleged accomplices.