‘Bulawayo Police Arrest CIO (36), Who Supplied Poacher With Guns Which Killed 2 Police Officers’

POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested a suspected member of the Central Intelligence Organisation, who allegedly supplied guns, one of which was used by a poacher to kill police officers in Chipinge recently. Police raided a flat between 4th Avenue and Samuel Parirenyatwa Street, where Munashe Mugwira, 36, was holed up on Saturday.He was allegedly arrested without incident and is said to be assisting police with investigations. Sources said a poacher, John Chisango, who survived a shootout with police at Save Conservancy in Masvingo on December 13, told the police he got guns from Mugwira.

Chisango allegedly told investigators that one of the guns, an AK47 rifle was used in the killing of two police officers and a civilian in Chipinge last month.

“Police were acting on a tip-off. Chisango said Mugwira supplied him and four others with an AK47 and 303 rifles, whose serial numbers had been filed off. He said they wanted to use the guns to kill rhinos,” said the source.

Chisango allegedly implicated Mugwira in cyanide poisoning of elephants in the country’s national parks. “He said Mugwira actually drove the poachers to Save Conservancy in a government vehicle and left them to kill rhinos,” said another source. Mugwira has, according to police sources, since been taken to Masvingo by the police mineral and border control unit for indications.

Official comment could not be obtained from the police yesterday. National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba’s phone rang without being answered.

Her counterpart, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi advised The Chronicle to get a comment from Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango, who referred this reporter back to Chief Supt Nyathi.

He did not answer his mobile phone until the time of going top Press. The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, is on record saying highly placed people are involved in poaching activities in the country.

The Chipinge shooting occurred last month.

Sergeant Robert Shumba, 39, and Sergeant Vengai Mazhara, 35, from Chipinge urban Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) section, were deployed for an operation code-named “Zvigwayagwaya” after receiving a tip-off that a suspected poacher was in possession of a gun. Acting on the tip off, the two officers proceeded to Chaita Simango’s homestead at Plot number 34, Naffaerton in Chipinge to arrest the suspect.

The officers arrested Simango and ordered him to direct them to where the suspect was hiding. Simango reportedly told them that the person they were looking for was inside the house, before leading the way into the house.

The suspected poacher allegedly jumped from a sofa and took his AK47 rifle, sprang into action and opened fire killing the two officers and Simango on the spot.

The poacher then fled the scene. National police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the shooting of two police officers and a civilian in Chipinge last month. by Temba Dube-Acting News Editor. Source-Chronicle

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