via Game ranger to hang over murder by Staff Reporter NewZimbabwe 30/09/2013
A GAME ranger was on Monday sentenced to death after shooting a man 10 times during a botched operation to arrest elephant poachers.
Trigger-happy Maxwell Bowa, 53, shot Lennon Nkosana, 29, as he fled from a kitchen hut which had been surrounded by a 10-man strong team of rangers from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management and uniformed police officers.
Justice Lawrence Kamocha of the Bulawayo High Court, on circuit in Gweru, heard how the team of rangers and police officers went on patrol in the Simchembo area of Gokwe on June 12 last year trying to track down poachers and locate ivory.
The rangers had intelligence that a local man, Tanaka Nyoni, was a poacher and may have had some ivory hidden away, said Tafadzwa Mupariwa, prosecuting.
When the rangers and police failed to locate Nyoni, the court heard, they went to the Nkosana homestead where they allegedly tried to extract information about poachers by assaulting all those present, some hit with the butt of their guns.
The victim, said the prosecutor, bolted from the hut and Bowa pulled the trigger, shooting him at least 10 times as he fled.
After the shooting, the rangers and the officers left the scene. Bowa was only arrested after the victim’s brothers who witnessed the killing filed a police report.
Justice Kamocha told Bowa, who had pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder, that he had shot an innocent man in cold blood, as he sentenced him to face the gallows.
Zimbabwe has not carried out any executions since 2005 when armed robbers and convicted murderers Edgar Masendeke and Stephen Chidhumo were hanged.