Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A gang of unknown suspected poachers allegedly cornered a 28-year-old anti-poaching investigator on Sunday afternoon and burnt him in his car near Matshiloni area, along the road leading to Masvingo.
The man who is employed by the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), was reportedly travelling from Beitbridge to Harare in a Toyota Runx vehicle when he was attacked by the gang which was travelling in two vehicles.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was not readily available for comment today, but Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident.
“This is an unfortunate incident, where suspected poachers attacked an International Anti-Poaching Foundation investigator in Beitbridge.
They sprinkled the investigator’s vehicle with petrol and set it on fire. He incurred burn wounds and was initially taken to Beitbridge hospital where he was then airlifted to Harare for further treatment,” said Mr Farawo.
He said the authority was concerned that the law enforcement agents involved in anti-poaching activities are always at risk of encountering such incidences.
Mr Farawo said in most cases the agents are having deadly contacts with armed poachers.
He appealed for anyone with information to contact Zimparks and the police so that the suspects can be brought to justice.