A SUSPECTED Zambian poacher is battling for his life at Victoria Falls Hospital, after he was injured in a shootout with rangers from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) at Katombola Wafawafa base in the Upper Zambezi area on Sunday.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
The suspect, William Tembo from Lusaka, was allegedly shot in the leg and captured while his five accomplices fled the scene, after being intercepted in the game park.
Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed Tembo’s arrest.
“We have increased our mobile operations and it is bearing fruit. We are snubbing these poachers. Over the weekend, Wafawafa rangers together with police officers were on patrol in the Katombola area and that is when they encountered these Zambians,” he said.
“They were ambushed and that led to serious exchange of gunfire. They (rangers) were heavily armed and managed to shoot Tembo on the leg and the rest fled the scene.
“We recovered 20 rounds of ammunition while the other 10 were discovered upon Tembo’s arrest. They also had mealie meal,cooking oil, beans, kapenta fish, seven cellphones, shoes, mosquito nets, blankets and sacks, among other various items.”
District medical physician, Wisdom Kuraone, said Tembo was under guard at the hospital.
Last year, a team of rangers was involved in another shootout with 10 poachers, two of whom were later shot dead at Matetsi Unit along Kazungula Road.