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No respite for detained Botswana officers in Zim

Staff Writer
The three Botswana wildlife officers arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal entry into the country will have to wait for a while before they can gain their freedom, it has emerged.

The three, who are detained at Victoria Falls, were supposed to appear for trial yesterday but it never commenced because the prosecutors had gone to fetch state witnesses in Kazungula, Botswana's ambassador in Zimbabwe, Gladys Kokorwe said yesterday. She said at the time of the interview that she had spoken to her officers at noon but the trial had not commenced.

The three officers crossed into Zimbabwe by mistake last week when they were tracking a lion that had been terrorising Lesoma residents. There is no border fence between the two countries and it is

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said that the three officers were new in the area. Attempts by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Phandu Skelemani to have the matter resolved diplomatically hit a snag when he tried to engage the Zimbabwe ambassador in Botswana. The ambassador told him there is nothing the government could do because the police have made up their mind that the three should face trial.

Skelemani, who is in Addis Ababa stated that he was going to engage the Foreign Affairs Minister of Zimbabwe at the African Union (AU) meeting to have the matter resolved amicably.



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