Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
VILLAGERS in Mbembeswani and Umlala Park in Kwekwe District are living in fear after they started spotting elephants since Wednesday afternoon.
They saw the jumbos as they drank water in Mbembeswani River whilst another herd was spotted in Poledale area.
The about seven elephants are still wandering in the area and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) are said to have visited the areas.
Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo said they had received a report on the matter.
“We received the report and we are aware that the animals could have escaped from a conservancy in that area. Our personnel are on the ground. We continue encouraging villagers to be aware of the animals and avoid provoking them until our rangers manage to drive them back to their area,’ said Mr Farawo
Ward 2 Councillor, Rodgers Nhari said the elephants were still in the area.
“About seven elephants were seen in the area. They were spotted at two different occasions. The first group was spotted as they were drinking water in Mbembeswani River. The other group was latter spotted in Poledale area where they were passing through,” he said.
The councillor said they had also been seen at Umlala Park Primary School.
Cllr Nhari said the animals had not caused any harm to anyone but their presence poses danger to villagers.
“We are just warning villagers to be wary of the animals’ presence although so far they are yet to harm anyone. You never know with animals, anything can happen. We are just warning villagers not to provoke the animals as we wait for the way forward from rangers,” he said.
Cllr Nhari said Zimparks rangers are in the area.
“We alerted our Zibagwe Rural District Council rangers who reacted swiftly and they in turn contacted their Zimparks counterparts. As we speak, they are attending the scene,” said Cllr Nhari.
It is not yet clear where the elephants came from as the nearest Sebakwe Game Park does not have elephants.
Last week, twelve stray elephants were also spotted in Shurugwi at Ruchanyu resettlement.
Shurugwi District Development Coordinator, Mr Romeo Shangwa said they have since alerted Zimparks.
“We have alerted Zimparks and they came on the ground. We keep warning our villagers to desist from provoking the animals and exercise extreme caution,” he said.
Three weeks ago, two people were trampled to death and two others were left nursing injuries by an elephant in Gokwe.