BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
A Victoria Falls bartender was trampled to death by an elephant near the main police station in the early hours of Sunday as he was walking home from work.
The man, only identified as William by local residents, is said to have stumbled on three elephants that had a calf.
A security guard at the Landela Complex, which is close to where the man was killed, said the incident happened close to the police compound.
“I was walking towards that road when I heard elephants trumpeting and this was followed by a loud bang as if something had dropped, or a tree had fallen, “ he said.
“At the scene I found few people and some cars at the scene and they told me that William had been trampled to death by an elephant,
“I discovered that he had been gored by the elephant on his stomach and his body was thrown about 40 metres away.
” It seems when it gored him, he was carrying a loaf of bread and a wallet.
“We were able to again identify him through his national identity card that he was carrying.”
According to police officers who witnessed the incident from their houses nearby, he tried to escape to the police compound.
“He used pass by our houses every morning after knocking-off from work at one of the bars in town,” one police officer told Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers who attended the scene around 9.30AM.
“These elephants for the past one month have been crossing through this road going to the suburbs.
“As this fellow walked to his house, he encountered them and one of the bulls attacked him.
“We heard some loud noise and screams.
” When we went out to investigate we discovered that he had been killed.”
Frustrated residents accused Zimparks of ignoring their pleas to have the wild animals pushed away from residential areas.
“They tell us that we should learn to cohabit with them as we live in their territories,” the security guard said.
Another resident from Chinotimba added: “Recently one elephant entered my yard when I was washing the plates around 8 PM and I jumped off the fence and it started to feed on my vegetables.
“ Whenever we report such problems, Zimparks tells us that we should get used to them and we should also desist from attempting to throw objects at them as it is against the law.”
Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said he was yet to receive a report about the incident.
However, Zimparks rangers were already searching for the killer elephant.
Human-wildlife conflicts in the resort city have been on the increase over the past years.
Last month, a Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit conservationist was trampled to death by an elephant bull as he conducted anti-poaching duties around the city.
Last year, another man was trampled to death by an elephant near National Railways of Zimbabwe houses.
Chinese-funded power plant expansion project in Zimbabwe set for commissioning
Chinese firm Sinohydro undertook the project, adding 600 MW to Hwange Thermal Power Station, the country’s largest coal-fired power plant.
The project will be commissioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday.
Zhemu said at a press conference that recent media reports predicting a return to prolonged power cuts after August were false, as Zimbabwe is now guaranteed adequate power supplies in the short-to-medium term.
He said Unit 7 is already feeding into the grid after the successful completion of tests in June and is now commercially available for operation. Unit 8 is also undergoing a similar test and is expected to be available commercially by August or September this year.
“So there is no way that we are going back to the past where we used to experience long hours of load shedding,” Zhemu added.
Five die in Binga traffic accident
BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
A Stallion Cruise bus overturned in Binga on Sunday morning killing five passengers on board, police have revealed.
According to witnesses, the bus which was travelling to Bulawayo was reportedly speeding when the accident happened.
National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the bus overturned and landed on its roof in the Sikalenge area between Siabuwa and Binga centre.
“The ZRP confirms a fatal road traffic accident which occurred on 16/07/23 in the morning near Masumo Bridge, Samende area, Binga in which a Stallion Cruise bus travelling from Siabuwa to Binga overturned,” Nyathi said.
“The ZRP confirms that five people were killed whilst the number of injured is yet to be ascertained.”
The bus reportedly veered off the road at a sharp curve near the Masumu River bridge at around 7AM.
The accident comes barely a week after the same bus caught fire in Mutare on July 11 and all passengers escaped unharmed.
Zimbabwe declares its own load shedding over, but locals are sceptical
Zimbabwe’s government on Tuesday announced a sudden end of blackouts that have crippled businesses and left millions of households without electricity for up to 19 hours a day.
The information ministry said a cabinet meeting had “noted with satisfaction” that the power utility “has announced the end to load shedding as a result of the interventions implemented” by the government.
The statement did not give details of the steps taken to end the load shedding.
The southern African country has for years been reeling under severe power shortages.
They worsened late last year when the main electricity supply, a hydro plant at the giant Kariba Dam in the north, suffered very low water levels caused by recurring droughts.
In March the power utility company said it had launched a new 300MW coal-fired unit with Chinese finance in a bid to ease repeated power outages.
But Zimbabweans greeted the news of the end of outages with scepticism, as some said they were sitting in the dark as the announcement was made.
One Zimbabwean @sammie541 tweeted “funny (be)cause we actually don’t have…(electricity) now”, adding her Harare neighbourhood had been without power since Monday.
Other Zimbabweans questioned on Twitter if the announcement was not strategically timed ahead of national elections due next month.
The country goes to the polls on August 23 to elect a president and legislature.
Eighty-year-old President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who replaced strongman ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017 after a military-led coup, is seeking re-election.
But he faces a disaffected population that is battling hyperinflation, poverty and high unemployment.
Official figures placed inflation at 175.8% in June, up from 86.5% in May, but Johns Hopkins University professor of applied economics Steve Hanke believes real inflation in Zimbabwe is more than 1 000%.
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