Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
AN anti-poaching unit has arrested 10 suspected poachers in separate operations countrywide, with two of the suspects being on the police wanted list.
The unit comprises police and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers.
Zimparks spokesperson Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo said Matandira Gomweso and Caston Magejo, notorious for poaching elephants and rhinos, were arrested in separate incidents in Gokwe and Save Valley on Sunday last week and Tuesday.
“Two most wanted poachers from Village 8 E, Copper Queen, Nembudziya in Gokwe, were arrested in separate incidents during a combined police Zimparks operations,” said Ms Washaya-Moyo.
She said Gomweso was arrested on July 17 at Msambakaruma near Matusadonha National Park.
Ms Washaya-Moyo said Gomweso has been on the run since 2011.
“Gomweso has a pending case which he absconded after being arrested by Matusadonha Anti-poaching rangers on April 8, 2011, at Musamba Tsetse Gate with seven others for poaching. Eight elephant tusks were recovered from a white Land Rover Defender that he was driving,” said Washaya-Moyo.
She said last week, Gomweso was arrested in the company of Lawrence Nhunduma, 29 and Trick Maurukira and two elephant tusks were recovered.
Magejo, Ms Washaya-Moyo said, was arrested on Tuesday at Nyarushanga River in Chishakwe in the Save Valley Conservancy for rhino poaching.
“He had teamed up with four other suspects identified as Moses Moses of Glen Norah, Harare, Fainda Chitiga of Warren Park D, Harare, Shimmer Tonderai Gwatidzo Bere of Gudhure village, Chief Dandawa, Hurungwe and an accomplice only identified as Tsopo, escaped, leaving behind the vehicle he was driving.”
Ms Washaya-Moyo said Magejo, who was also wanted for previous poaching crimes, and his accomplices were using two vehicles, a Ford Ranger and a Mazda Cronos as get away cars.
Two rifles, one fitted with a silencer, were recovered from the accused persons as well as thirty rounds of ammunition.
She said in a related incident, Shadreck Mjova (45) and Shepherd Magwada, who is a long distance truck driver were arrested at a police roadblock near Ngundu Halt Business Centre in Masvingo Province after being found in possession of a 303 rifle, three loose 303 rounds of ammunition, one knife, two torches and one firearm magazine.
Zimparks suspects the duo intended to poach rhinos in the Bubye Valley Conservancy.
The suspects are expected to appear in court soon.