By Farai Shoko
The claim that officers are accepting bribes from suspected poachers is raising questions over the ability of police to combat poaching syndicates.
An ecological disaster is unfolding in the country's biggest natural wildlife sanctuary, Hwange National Park.
In the most recent incident, poachers used cyanide to poison elephants for their tusks.
A number of locals with regional connections have been arrested over the poisoning that has resulted in the deaths of about 100 elephants.
The Zimbabwe and Wildlife Management Authority estimates that an unspecified number of predators, including vultures and lions, have also died after feeding on the carcasses of the elephants and other animals left to rot in the reserve.
Hwange is Africa's third largest wildlife sanctuary after Tanzania's Serengeti and South Africa's Kruger National Park.
But it is the allegation that police officers are accepting bribes from suspected poachers that is raising eyebrows and questions over the ability of the police to combat poaching syndicates.
Court documents seen by the Mail & Guardian during the ongoing trial of some of the suspected poachers show that police officers demanded bribes for the release of a vehicle impounded from a poaching syndicate, which has been operating for five years under the noses of park officials at Hwange. More....