Two cattle rustlers who went on a stocktheft spree in Chipinge, stealing 28 beasts worth more than
$4 000 in July last year have been slapped with a total 180-year jail term.
The two are Shadreck Maluleko (23) and Cannais Muhlanhlayazi Gonya (39).
Chipinge magistrate Chrispen Ngweshiwa said in passing sentence that Maluleko and Gonya were facing a very serious offence which had become rampant in the district.
They were sentenced to 90 years’ imprisonment each but 65 years were suspended on condition they were not convicted of a similar offence in the next four years.
They will serve an effective 25-year jail term each.
Prosecutor Witness Nyamundaya said the rustlers connived in July last year to steal a herd of cattle grazing in Headman Machaira’s village in Chipinge.
The men are said to have driven the cattle into Mozambique to avoid detection by their owners.
However luck ran out for them as they were arrested two days later following an intense search by police and villagers.
On July 16 2010, police officers stationed at Chisumbanje in Chipinge teamed up with local villagers to trace the spoor left by the beasts.
They tracked the spoor for more than 15km on the Zimbabwean side and an additional 4km into Mozambique.
They continued following the trail and eventually caught the rustlers driving the herd.