New details have emerged in the investigation of the fatal shooting of Claudio Chiarelli and his son on March 13, 2016. In an article published in the Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald, dated March, 16, 2016, the story reported that the government was instituting investigations into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Quoting from the article, “The rangers reportedly mistook the two for poachers and opened fire, killing them on the spot near the Nyakasikana Gate in the Marongora area. Police arrested two of the rangers who are now assisting with investigations and they are likely to be charged with culpable homicide.”
In an official statement, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr. Christopher Mushowe said the Government deeply regretted the death of the two, who were also members of the Zambezi Society.
“Government expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the departed and to the Italian government which has lost two of its nationals on our soil. Government of Zimbabwe will institute full investigation into the incident,” he added.
According to the official report, tragedy struck on Sunday at around 2pm during an antipoaching operation involving parks game rangers, when a relief team was mistaken for poachers.
Chiarelli (66) and his son Massimillian (29) offered rangers a ride who were going to relieve other rangers on patrol.
The first team had been trekking footprints of suspected poachers and had signalled for a relief team from their base. The relief team was offered a ride by the Chiarellis who run Buzz Tour Operating company in the Marongora area.
The rangers had earlier come across a place where the suspected poachers had been preparing food and left. They followed their footprints which led them to an area near Nyakasikana Gate where they heard some voices and started firing randomly.
The gunshots resulted in the death of the father and son on the spot.