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POLICE have launched a manhunt for seven suspected poachers from across the country and have described them as armed and dangerous.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said anyone with information on the suspects should contact the police.
The police appeal comes at a time when there are signs that security forces have made some gains in the war against poaching since they were roped in to fight the crime late last year.
“Police are appealing for information which may lead to the arrest of Tavengwa Mazhongwe, Doctor (alias) Mazongwe, Kalonga Mutale, Tembo Mutale, Mudimba, Dumisani Moyo, Sinini Ndlovu and Lendulo Ncube, 46. Anyone with information may report to the nearest police station or contact the National Complaints office on 04-703631. Members of the public are also urged to be on the lookout as the suspects could be armed and dangerous,” she said.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba confirmed the arrest of Jason Chisango, 57, who was shot by game scouts at Sango Conservancy, Devure Range in Masvingo after he was caught poaching together with Munashe Mudenge Mugwira, 36, the assistant Bulawayo Provincial Intelligence Officer as well as Tavengwa Machona, and Batanai Manga.
Machona was last Thursday sentenced to 35 years in prison by Masvingo provincial magistrate Langton Ndokera for killing two rhinos at Sango Conservancy while Mugwira and Chisango are being charged separately.
“An AK, 7mm Mauser pistol and 303 rifles, four 303 live rounds, one spent cartridge used by the gang to commit poaching activities were recovered,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
She said police had also arrested Simon Mugombe, 54, for poaching at Chizarira National Park. He was found in possession of a 303 rifle, four live rounds, one spent cartridge, 17 class one wire snares, an impala carcass and a knife.
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said Mugombe implicated Kalonga Mutale and Tembo Mutale both of Kabuba Village, Chief Sinamagonde, Lusulu, who are still at large.
She said police in Guruve have also arrested Henry Zvitete, 37, of Village 1, Makute Kachuta, Chief Chipuriro of Guruve for possessing two elephant tusks worth US$1,382.
Close to 40 elephants were killed by poachers after they laced water sources frequented by jumbos in Hwange National Park with cyanide. by Whinsley Masara. Source: chronicle