Botswana Arrests Three Local Zimbabwe Rangers
Zimbabwe: Botswana Arrests Three Local Rangers
BOTSWANA has arrested and detained three Zimbabwe National Parks Authority rangers and a forestry company scout for allegedly straying into its territory while tracking suspected poachers.
George Mathe, Wailos Mungombe, Kudakwashe Goredema and Willas Mukande were on patrol at the Kazuma Pan National Park at the border with Botswana on Friday, when they allegedly strayed into foreign land while tracking human spoor.
The four were arrested by Botswana Defence Forces soldiers patrolling the border.
Parks and Wildlife Management Autho-rity communications manager Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo yesterday confirmed the arrest and said her organisation was in contact with their counterparts in Botswana over the issue.
"On the 10th of March we received an SMS, as has always been the norm, from our counterparts in Botswana that they had seen a spoor of four suspected poachers coming into Zimbabwe.
"We responded by deploying our rangers the following day since they also said they had deployed along the border.
"Our rangers picked and followed the spoor up to a security road which we share with Botswana but to their surprise they were arrested by Tswana soldiers yet our rangers thought we were on the same mission.
"They were taken to Kazungula and then transferred to Kasane Central Police Station, where they are being held in custody.
"Initially the authorities there promised to release them on Saturday but when our officers arrived there, the goal posts were changed and we were told to bring proof of their employment with Parks and registration for the rifles which we did this morning.
"The goal posts changed again and they appeared in the magistrates courts where they were remanded in custody to March 28," she said.
Early last year, five Botswana rangers were arrested and detained for straying into Zimbabwe.
Source: The Herald