Police officers at Madlambuzi camp in Bulilima, Matabeleland South were held hostage at their own station for 10 days by a giant python which took shelter at the charge office.
The python which was about 2.5 metres was spotted by one of the officers on 19 February when the snake was heading to the camp’s quarters — where officers reside. When spotted, it suddenly made its way into the charge office running away from being killed. It slithered into the ceiling. For the next 10 days it became the “officer-in-charge” until it was killed when the police enlisted the services of a pest control company from Bulawayo.
But after it was killed, a villager, Urgent Ncube (39) from Bhangali village close to the police camp stormed the charge office and threatened officers on duty with death. It is said he fumed and shouted at the top of his voice. His fury was over why they killed the snake which he claimed ownership of. It later turned out he had sent the snake on a “special mission” when it met its death. He reportedly declared to the police officers that even though they killed his snake he was going to send a “big” baboon to deal with them. He boldly stated that no one was going to kill it. The snake was killed after the police officers wrote to the officer commanding Bulilima and Mangwe claiming they were living in fear of a python which had apparently assumed duties at the charge office.
The memo, which is in possession of B-Metro, stated that the snake gained entry into the charge office through the back window and later slithered vertically up to the roof through a gutter before it found its way into the ceiling. “This memo serves to inform and put on record that on the 19th February 2016 at around 2000 hrs at ZRP Madlambuzi Camp a police officer who was coming from the marriage quarters saw a very big snake which is approximately 2.5 metres long. The snake was heading to the camp’s quarters. It became violent after being attacked by one of the police officers.
“The snake tried to enter the charge office but was disturbed by some details who were at the entrance. It crawled along the wall until it gained entry through the back window and climbed on top of the gun cabinet thus making it difficult for officers to gain access to the firearms. “The snake stood firm and stood its ground and continued threatening to attack the officers before it slithered through to the ceiling where it hides. The venomous snake has basically taken over the charge office duty,” the memo reads in part. When B-Metro visited the camp last week, police details who were present refused to shed light on the matter saying only members of the public relations department were allowed to speak to the Press.