Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers — Timothy Tembo and Chidumo Mabarani — who were killed by suspected Zambian poachers in Lake Kariba on New Year’s Eve, were buried on Thursday in Kariba and Gokwe, respectively.
Their bodies were recovered from Lake Kariba on Tuesday after a week-long search by security personnel from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Security services from the two countries are working closely to investigate and bring finality to the issue, which is being treated as murder.
Tembo was buried at John Range Cemetery in Kariba in a funeral that drew scores of residents, Zimparks and Government officials in Kariba District.
His colleague, Mabarani, was buried in Gokwe.
Zimparks deputy director-general Geoffreys Matipano said the organisation was committed to the safety of its rangers.
“This is a very unfortunate incident and as Parks we are very much concerned with our people’s safety,” he said. “These are our workers, these are rangers who were on duty. This is national duty, protecting the natural resource, including wildlife and fish.
“We are aware that the incident was perpetrated by people from across the border. This issue is being handled by appropriate structures.”
The security organs, including the Joint Operations Command (JOC) and the Zambian equivalent, are working closely to investigate the matter.
A joint search team, including the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s sub-aqua unit, managed to retrieve the bodies of the two ZimParks rangers between Spurwing and Long Islands in Lake Kariba.
They reportedly had their hands tied behind their backs and had multiple wounds.
Post-mortems conducted in Harare are expected to establish the cause of death and shed light into how the two could have died.
A church service was conducted in Harare on Wednesday before the bodies were taken to their respective burial places.