Police disrupt Byo Agenda meeting

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Piolice wait to vote at Town House. Picture by Zimcandid (Twitter)

POLICE yesterday disrupted a public meeting in the Dingani area of Hwange East constituency meant to discuss the plight of villagers encountering wild animals.

NDUDUZO TSHUMA
STAFF REPORTER

The meeting was organised by the Bulawayo Agenda which had sought prior clearance from the police.

Hwange East MP Tose Sansole, who had been invited to the meeting, said he received a call from the police telling him that the meeting could not go on.

“The meeting was to discuss with the affected people the dangers posed by wild animals, particularly destruction of crops, property and human life,” Sansole said.

He said there was need for a shift by police in viewing as political public meetings meant to benefit the people.

“There is need for a quick response from the relevant authorities when villagers make reports of wild animals in their areas. There is a seven-year-old boy who was mauled to death by a lion in March. It does not have to take human life for the local authorities to act,” Sansole said.

Villagers said they were living in fear of wild animals, in particular elephants and lions.

Roda Silundu whose grandson was killed by a lion in March said some neighbouring villagers spent the night in fear as lions roam their homesteads.

“We did not get any compensation from the relevant authorities after the lion killed my grandson. They only came and said they would get back to us, but we never heard from them,” Silundu said.

He said she had stopped cultivating crops in her fields because of elephants. Another villager Thandiwe Nyathi, a single mother of four, said she had lost her entire kraal of seven cattle to lions.

“We have a problem with lions. My last beast was attacked recently and the authorities came and took the remainder of the meat to trap the lion, but I never heard from them again,” Nyathi said.