indications based on an identity card found on the scene show that one of the men carried a United National Independence Party identity card bearing the name Peter Kakwenya and National Registration number 383158/11/1 believed to be from Zambia.
It could not be established at the time of writing if the identity card belonged to the deceased or one of the men who escaped.
Four of the deceased’s accomplices escaped when rangers who were on an operation to monitor hunting activities in the Hurungwe Safari Area made a follow-up after hearing three gunshots.
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara confirmed the incident, adding that investigations were still in progress.
“Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers deployed to monitor hunting activities in the Hurungwe Safari Area heard three gunshots which they followed up leading to an encounter with five suspected poachers,” he said.
During the patrol, the rangers picked up a spoor which they trailed until they had an encounter with the five men with one of them armed with an AK-47 rifle.
The rangers opened fire and the poachers shot back, resulting in one of the poachers being shot while the other four disappeared into the nearby thicket.
None of the rangers was injured in the exchange, while the man killed was taken to Kariba District Hospital mortuary for post-mortem. This comes barely a week after three people were arrested at a roadblock in Kariba and found with two elephant tusks weighing 28,46kg worth about US$7 115.
The three locals from Harare are being charged with contravening sections of the Parks and Wildlife Authority Act.