Gwanda villagers concerned over spike in stocktheft cases

BY COLIN CRAIG MOYO

Villagers in Gwanda have expressed concern over the increase in stocktheft cases, amid revelations that some of the stolen cattle were being slaughtered in the bush and the meat sold to abattoirs.

Community members in Matabeleland South said they were losing their source of livelihood and urged police to investigate and arrest suspects.

Lorah Ndlovu, of Matsholomotshe village, said cattle often strayed as far as the Gwanda-Beitbridge Highway in search of pastures, hence have become susceptible to theft or being hit by cars.

“Last year, the police caught a number of rustlers who were stealing cattle and selling them to abattoirs,” Ndlovu said.

“I lost about six cattle this year, as there is no one to assist me in herding the cattle. I am old and due to the economic situation in Zimbabwe, I have no money to hire someone to help me herd the cattle,” another villager, Sifikile Moyo, said.

Contacted for comment, Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele urged the public to report the cases early. 

“Some of the villagers leave their cattle to graze unattended and thieves take advantage and steal from the pastures,” Ndebele said.

Police said they had arrested some rustlers in the past and would continue to check on abattoirs in Matabeleland South to see the clearance certificates of their cattle and carcasses.

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