Po­lice­man shoots col­league dead in high speed chase

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Whins­ley Masara

A PO­LICE of­fi­cer sta­tioned at Hwange Po­lice Sta­tion al­legedly ac­ci­den­tally shot a col­league, who later died, dur­ing a high speed chase with sus­pected poach­ers on Sun­day night.

Doc­tors at Hwange Col­liery Hos­pi­tal re­port­edly bat­tled for more than six hours in a vain at­tempt to save Con­sta­ble Faxon Maphosa (34) who even­tu­ally suc­cumbed to the in­juries yes­ter­day morn­ing.

A po­lice of­fi­cer iden­ti­fied as Moses Nde­bele al­legedly shot Cst Maphosa in the ab­domen and the bul­let ex­ited through his back.

Nde­bele had al­legedly jumped into a pur­suit ve­hi­cle with the safety catch on his gun off and he ac­ci­den­tally dis­charged the firearm.

Cst Maphosa was part of an anti-poach­ing team that had gone into Hwange Na­tional Park to am­bush sus­pected poach­ers fol­low­ing a tip off from an un­known in­for­mant.

Hwange Lo­cal Board Ward 7 Coun­cil­lor Wil­son Maphosa, who is Cst Maphosa’s un­cle, con­firmed the in­ci­dent.

“I re­ceived a phone call in the evening that Faxon had been rushed to hos­pi­tal af­ter he was shot by a col­league. Doc­tors and nurses spent the whole night try­ing to re­sus­ci­tate him but he died in the morn­ing,” said Cllr Maphosa.

He said the in­ci­dent was “ter­ri­ble and shocked the fam­ily” as Cst Maphosa had been trans­ferred to Hwange from Chivhu a fort­night ago.

Na­tional po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba could not con­firm the shoot­ing say­ing she was yet to re­ceive a re­port.

“I can’t com­ment on that be­cause I haven’t re­ceived any re­port or heard of any­thing like that,” she said.

A source close to the in­ci­dent said the anti-poach­ing team, which com­prised of po­lice and Zim­babwe Na­tional Parks and Wildlife Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity rangers, was tipped off by an un­known source that poach­ers were plan­ning a raid at Hwange Na­tional Park.

“A tip off was made that some poach­ers driv­ing in an El­grand were on their way to Si­na­matela Camp through Makomo Re­sources Mine main gate.

“The anti-poach­ing team read­ied it­self and laid an am­bush at Makomo gate. The sus­pected poach­ers ar­rived driv­ing in the said ve­hi­cle but im­me­di­ately made a U-turn af­ter see­ing that they had been spot­ted and drove off into the park,” said the source.

The source said the anti-poach­ing team also jumped into a ve­hi­cle and gave chase as the sus­pects drove off at high speed.

“Un­for­tu­nately one of the of­fi­cers had loaded his gun and for­got to lock the safety catch and it ac­ci­den­tally dis­charged and hit Cst Maphosa in the ab­domen,” added the source.— @win­nie_­masara.

Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba

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