HomeNewsCattle rustler jailed 9 years

Cattle rustler jailed 9 years

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A 54-YEAR-OLD Masvingo man was on Tuesday slapped with nine years in prison by Mutare magistrate Sekai Chiundura after he was convicted of one count of stock theft involving nine cattle.

OBEY MANAYITI

Bonface Zimirenyika (54), who was represented by Charles Ndlovu of Ndlovu and Hwacha legal practitioners from Masvingo, had pleaded not guilty to the charge, but was convicted after a full trial.

Initially he was facing 35 counts of stock theft involving more than 100 cattle along with Pedzisai Mabvuke (65) and Tendai Mabvuke (27) of Buhera, but all the 34 counts fell away.

His co-accused were also discharged for lack of evidence.

Charges against Zimirenyika arose on June 20 last year after the complainant, Rueben Foroma of Bubikai village in Chief Chamutsa in Buhera, drove his nine cattle to the grazing area.

The cattle were left unattended and the accused person took advantage of that to drive the cattle away.

In mitigation, Zimirenyika through his lawyer told the presiding magistrate that he was a polygamous man with seven wives and 29 children and he urged the court to consider that he has a
big family that still need his support.

However in passing sentence, magistrate Chiundura said Zimirenyika was facing a very serious offence and cases of stock theft were rampant especially in rural areas, therefore, there is need to pass a deterrent sentence that would send a message to would-be offenders.

The magistrate also pointed out that there were no special circumstances in the matter therefore a sentence of nine years would be proper for the accused.

Malvern Musarurwa prosecuted.

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