Zimparks spokesperson, 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 last week. Two rifles, one fitted with a silencer, were recovered from Magejo and his accomplices as well as thirty rounds of ammunition.
Washaya-Moyo said, in a related incident, Shadreck Mjova and Shepherd Magwada, who is a long-distance truck driver, had been arrested at a police roadblock near Ngundu Halt Business Centre in Masvingo Province after being found in possession of a 303 rifle, three rounds of ammunition, a knife, two torches and a firearm magazine.
Zimparks suspects the duo intended to poach rhinos in the Bubye Valley Conservancy.
Zimbabwe has one of the toughest wildlife crime laws in Africa. The country’s shoot-to-kill policy for poachers and the mandatory minimum nine year jail sentence for poaching presents an imposing penalty. Although this success is only a dim spark in the bid to nullify poaching. Breakthroughs such as these do bolster the seemingly impossible mammoth task of eradicating poaching.