POLICE in Beitbridge have refused to accompany the deputy sheriff of the High Court to evict Zanu PF supporters that invaded a game reserve in the Jompembe Block in the border town and embarked on a massive poaching spree of wildlife.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
The group, allegedly led by Beitbridge deputy district administrator Peter Moyo, annexed the Denlynian and Tamari Wildlife Conservation Area earlier last month and has been wantonly killing game.
Ian Ferguson, managing director of Denlynain (Pvt) Ltd and Trans-Limpopo Carriers, who runs the wildlife sanctuary, revealed on Tuesday that the police refused to accompany the deputy sheriff to evict the invaders.
“The Deputy Sheriff of the High Court approached the senior district police officer at 8am (Tuesday) for an escort to remove the invaders from the farm. He was referred to officer-in-charge (Beitbridge) Rural who claimed that he didn’t have transport as their vehicle was under repair,” he said.
“We offered to provide transport and when the deputy sheriff told the police of the offer, the police said their transport had been repaired, but didn’t have any fuel and when offered the fuel it was declined as they said they would find their own fuel.
“We are not quite sure what to make of it all, but some feel it’s just delaying tactics to give the invaders time for what I wouldn’t know.
“Be that as it may, we have arranged with the deputy sheriff to provide transport and staff to accompany him to do the evictions regardless of whether the police provide an escort or not.”
The alleged invaders reportedly harassed four Polish hunters who were at the conservancy for trophy hunting.
They also allegedly assaulted conservancy workers resulting in them sleeping in the bush.
“A woman and her children aged five and two were assaulted. My daughter had to take them to hospital,” Ferguson said.
“Some game scouts were assaulted and have difficulty walking.
“They smashed the door of our cold room and took three tonnes of meat from the hunts.
“They also took elephant skin, other hides and broke into the hunting lodge and took mattresses.
“My daughter spotted a vehicle they were using with two impala and photographed them.”
Ferguson said it was not the first time that the police had refused to escort them to remove the invaders.
He said the police had in the past claimed that the High Court order of July 2010 was too old to act on, but the position had changed after they consulted the courts.
Ferguson got a fresh eviction order against the invaders, but the police always offer frivolous excuses not to act against the illegal invasions.
Efforts to get a comment from the officer-in-charge of Beitbridge rural were fruitless as an officer who answered the phone said he was not in the office.