Missing Zimparks rangers found dead in Lake Kariba
By Staff Reporter
TWO Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers reported missing on New Year’s Eve, have been found dead in Lake Kariba with signs they were murdered.
Their bodies were retrieved from the Lake by police Tuesday.
Zimparks spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident while praising the slain officers for being heroes of the country’s anti-poaching struggle.
“It is with great sadness that our two missing rangers have been found dead in Lake Kariba. Zimparks wants to thank stakeholders and sister security departments who worked tirelessly to search for our rangers. These are conservation heroes,” he wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi also confirmed earlier that police had found one of the bodies.
“As police, we can confirm the retrieval of the body of one of the rangers this (Tuesday) morning in the lake after nearly a week of searching.
“We are treating this as a murder case and investigations are still in progress,” he said.
Nyathi said the body was found between Spurwing and Long islands in Lake Kariba with multiple stab wounds and had hands tied behind the back.
Preliminary indications are that the rangers were murdered before being thrown into the water.
On the day of their disappearance, the rangers were on patrol in the lake when they caught up with suspected Zambian poachers they immediately apprehended.
Reports indicated they encountered e poachers and managed to effect an arrest before taking them to their Changa Camp for safekeeping of the poachers’ boat as an exhibit.
It is alleged that the poachers fought the rangers in the middle of the lake on their way to Kariba town and managed to overpower them.
The matter came to light when the rangers’ patrol boat was found floating on the lake.