Dete NRZ employee mauled by lions

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

A National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) line tracker was found dead in a suspected lion attack while on duty in Dete.

Matabeleland North police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese said Thomas Mupusa, aged 43, had left home in Dete centre for work at Kennedy Railway Siding last Tuesday night when he met his death.

A workmate, Clement Moyo who was manning a boom gate at Kennedy Farm, raised alarm on Thursday morning after he spotted some vultures circling over something in the air.

The vultures had eaten some flesh from Mupusa’s right leg and intestines while there were lion spoors around the body which had injuries suggesting the attack.

“Police attended to a scene at Kennedy Railway Siding where a body was found near the Railway line. It is suspected that he was killed by lions,” said Chief Insp Makonese.

Police and rangers from ZimParks found Mupusa’s body about 50 metres from the railway line with scars all over while the right leg was mauled and intestines protruding.

His clothes and shoes were lying next to the body.

Chief Insp Makonese said Mupusa left his place of residence at NRZ staff quarters in Dete on Tuesday night and boarded the Bulawayo bound train going to report for duty at Kennedy Railway Siding on the edge of Hwange National Park.

Police and rangers attended the scene after being alerted by Moyo and took the body to Hwange Colliery Hospital waiting for transfer to Bulawayo for postmortem.

Cases of people being killed by lions, elephants and crocodiles are common in communities surrounding Hwange and Zambezi National parks in Hwange districts as human-wildlife conflict escalates.