Communities in surrounding areas of Vwaza Game Reserve in Rumphi have accused game rangers of killing of a community member who went to fish at Lake Kazuni which is within the reserve.

The deceased identified as Sandless Nyirenda, 29, hailed from Mataukira Village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mpherembe in Mzimba District.

An uncle to the deceased, Josiya Nyirenda said Sandless was accompanied by two friends on Wednesday last week went fishing at Lake Kazuni where they were arrested by the game rangers for trespassing in the reserve.

He said the rangers detained one person while the other escaped adding that the rangers then shot the deceased on the leg in his attempt to escape by swimming on the lake and the rangers followed Sandless.

“They stabbed him on the neck and head then left him to die in the water,” Josiya narrated.

He said community members after noting that Nyirenda missed from the village since that fateful day, they started searching for him until Saturday when the deceased was found in the Lake with one bullet wound, multiple stabbings in the head and neck.

The Uncle added the community members are demanding an explanation from the Department of Parks and Wildlife on the mysterious death of their fellow villager.

“This is the sixth incident for a person to be killed by the rangers in a period of two years,” Josiya recalled.

National Parks and Wildlife Regional Manager for the North, Peter Wadi acknowledged that the deceased was found in the reserve but dismissed claims that park rangers are behind the death of the man whom he said was found poaching in the protected area.

He explained as a department, they are waiting for post-mortem results from Rumphi District Hospital where the body had been taken for examination.

Rumphi District Hospital Public Relations Officer, Bwanalori Mwamulima and other senior officials declined to comment on the medical report when contacted; they kept referring this reporter from one official to another.

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