A 44-year-old Gokwe man who stole his brother-in-law’s cow after claiming that the latter had died hence the beast was to be slaughtered for his memorial service, was yesterday jailed for an effective nine years for stock theft.
Report by Richard Muponde Senior Court Reporter
Alois Mathuthu of Tapera Village, Chief Sayi in Gokwe, was initially slapped with a 120-month jail term before Gokwe magistrate Shepherd Mjanja suspended 12 months of the sentence on condition of good behaviour and that he pays $240 restitution.
The court heard that sometime in 2010, Mathuthu accompanied his brother-in–law, Manuel Kutsira, to Mushonga village to buy a cow.
However, they failed to drive their new acquisition home because of the existing cattle movement restrictions obtaining in the area, but left it under the custody of a headman.
On January 1 this year, Mathuthu in the company of his son, Aaron, went back to the headman’s homestead and misrepresented to him that Kutsira had died and he had been sent to collect the beast so it could be slaughtered to feed family members gathered for the memorial service.
The unsuspecting headman released the beast and gave Mathuthu a covering clearance letter stating that the beast was wanted for slaughter at the family’s function.
Mathuthu, however, sold the beast and converted the money to his own use.
Kutsira later discovered the offence and reported the matter to the police, leading to Mathuthu’ arrest.
The beast was not recovered.