By Thupeyo Muleya
Two poachers were early yesterday killed during a shoot-out with Parks rangers at Bubye Conservancy some 60km west of Beitbridge town.
It is reported the two, who were armed with a rifle and an axe, came into contact with National Parks rangers that were tracking a rhino.
National Parks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo described the incident as unfortunate.
“They were found poaching in the area by our officers and upon being ordered to surrender they fired at the rangers.
“There was an exchange of gunfire and unfortunately they were shot and killed. It is unfortunate that two lives have been lost, but our officers had no option when their lives were in danger,” he said.
Mr Farawo said National Parks authorities had adopted zero tolerance to poaching.
He warned people against poaching in national parks as they risked prosecution.
Mr Farawo said they will continue to investigate the matter. The incident comes a few weeks after one Mozambican poacher was killed in the same area during a shoot-out.
Incidents of rhino poaching are rampant at Bubye Valley Conservancy commonly known as Mazunga Ranch.
More than six people, among them a parks ranger, have died during shoot-outs in the wildlife sanctuary.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority has announced new fees for various services and activities it offers at its facilities.
The new fees were published in yesterday’s Government Gazette under Statutory Instrument 108 of 2019 in terms of Section 129A of the Parks and Wildlife Act.
The by-laws may be cited as the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Tariff of fees) By-Laws 2019.
The fees are in US dollars and can be paid using the prevailing RTGS equivalent.
According to the Statutory Instrument all charges in the by-laws include 15 percent Value Added Tax and 2 percent tourism levy for both resident and non-resident visitors and any other levies that may be published from time to time.
All non-residents will be required to pay the fees in foreign currency either electronically or in hard cash.
War veterans would also be exempted from paying fees during Independence, Heroes and Defence Forces holidays upon production of proof of identification while children under five years will be exempted from paying and those between six and 12 years will pay 50 percent of any fee.
For educational tours conservation fees for primary school educational tours shall be published by the authority from time to time.
Secondary schoolchildren will pay 50 percent of any fee applicable to adults including their accompanying teachers with a similar provision applicable to universities and tertiary institutions organised tour.
Visitors who require accommodation will also pay separate accommodation fees charged at the particular station.
According to the schedule of fees tour operators annual game drive permits range from $200 up to $1 000 depending on the place with Mana Pools and Hwange being the most expensive while Chivero, Kariba, Nyanga and Hwange are among the cheapest. The Herald