THREE lions that wreaked havoc here this week, killing two people on separate occasions have been shot dead, bringing relief to residents who had endured a three-day curfew. Business came to a virtual standstill midmorning yesterday when the hunting party emerged from the bush with the lifeless lions.
The roadshow sought to assure residents that the predators had indeed been killed.
Pupils poured out of schools, businesses closed and vehicles jammed roads in Mahombekombe suburb, amid jubilation as residents sought to have a glimpse of the felines.
The lions, a lioness and sub-adult cubs, believed to be about a-year-old, were put down by wildlife rangers and professional hunters on Thursday night, a few metres from where they killed 43-year-old Sharai Mawere at midday on Tuesday.
Mawere was killed at a love nest in the bush where her lover, Lovemore Muzarabani, escaped the attack and rushed to report the matter to the police in his pair of sleeping shorts.
Mawere's denim skirt and blouse were found on the scene, intact.
While searching for the woman's body, the search party stumbled upon Mushunjeni Jakiel Mike's remains -- a hand, a skull and pelvic girdle.
Jakiel (77) met his fate while on his way from a beerhall on Monday night.
The rangers and professional hunters used a zebra carcass bait to lure the lions that for about a week had occupied a dense bush on the edge of Mahombombe high-density suburb and terrified residents, yet they remained elusive to rangers.
National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority area manager for Charara Safari Area, which covers Kariba, Mr Samson Chibaya, said the cats had been elusive and according to investigations, they were only three and not five as people were suggesting.
"We killed the three lions because they had tasted human blood. The lioness has a wire snare around its neck, meaning it could no longer hunt active prey. This is the reason why it targeted people, who are easy prey.
"The two sub-adult cubs were big enough to hunt as well. They were about a year old. We hunted for them in the same area they attacked the people and they continued to come back there. We co-ordinated well with all other stakeholders and this success should not be attributed to national parks alone. It was a very dangerous and difficult job.
"The terrain and the vegetation made it difficult although the lions were living in the suburb, with people. We had to take them to the residents as proof that we had killed them so that they can live normally, but as you might know, Kariba is a wildlife area and there are still other lions that roam wild and free and have not given people problems," said Mr Chibaya.
This is the first time in more than 30 years that lions have killed people in Kariba.
Head of Kariba Civil Protection Unit and district administrator Mr Amigo Mhlanga, said the killing of the lions had brought relief to residents and the leadership.
"We had sleepless nights. We had nightmares. We were getting very worried at the delay in killing the lions but we still had faith in our unity of purpose and today, we are relieved. The people are relieved. They can now resume their normal life," he said.