The saga of the late Chief Khayisa Ndiweni’s stolen cattle took a new twist this week with the family demanding restitution for more than the 200 cattle allegedly stolen by government at the height of farm invasions, NewsDay can reveal.
The late chief’s family believes the cattle would have multiplied to around 500 by now.
In an interview yesterday, Ndiweni family spokesperson Wilson Bancinyane who is also leader of the Patriotic Union of Mandebeleland, a Bulawayo pressure group, said there were issues around the disappearance of the cattle from Chief Ndiweni’s farm in Ntabazinduna which needed to be clarified.
“One of the issues which obviously come to mind is the issue of the replacement of the 200 stolen cattle that government pledged to carry out,” he said.
“The question is: had these cattle not been stolen, how many would they be now? It is obvious there were cows among the stolen stock which would have bred.”
He said considering the time lapse since the cattle were stolen, projections were that the herd would now be numbering about 500. Bancinyane said government should take that into consideration in restitution.
Government has so far paid back 10 head of cattle to the family.
This was revealed by Matabeleland North governor Sithokozile Mathuthu at the chief’s burial recently.
“Besides the issue of the cattle multiplying over the years, there is also need for government to come out in the open and explain what really happened,” said Bancinyane.
Chief Ndiweni is said to have blamed government for the loss of his cattle by allegedly sponsoring the farm invasions.