By Chusa Sichone
Three Zambians have been shot dead in Zimbabwe after being found illegally poaching in that country's Hwange National Park.
The incident which happened on March 5, 2014 left several others injured in an operation that saw Zimbabwean authorities recover a pair of ivory as well as 14 rounds of 375 ammunitions.
Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) communications and public relations officer Mwila Muliyunda said the deceased were among the 14 Zambians who were found poaching in the Hwange National Park by Zim Parks.
"According to information reaching ZAWA, a group of 14 Zambians were found poaching in Hwange National Park by Zim Parks and after being confronted, a shoot-out ensued resulting in the death of three of the suspects and the wounding of others.
"Officers from Zim Parks are reported to have recovered one pair of ivory and 14 rounds of .375 ammunitions in connection to the incident which happened on March 5, 2014," Ms Muliyunda said.
She identified the deceased as Lisulo Mweemba, Dan Kongo and another only identified as Chikoti who were said to have already been buried by their colleagues in Zimbabwe.
Ms Muliyunda said at the time ZAWA received the report from Zim Parks, one of the wounded suspects Lindunda Walubita was still in Bulawayo hospital under the custody of authorities.
Another suspect only identified as John who was part of the group which made it back to Zambia is nursing gunshot wounds at his village in Kazungula.
In a separate incident, ZAWA is working with Botswana and Namibia to investigate another case in which six Zambians were apprehended at Katima Mulilo Boarder for being in possession of six ivory tusks alleged to have been obtained from Botswana.
Four Botswana citizens have also been arrested by the authority in connection with the case.