BY SILAS NKALA
MASHABA area in Matabeleland South province was the scene of bloody clashes at the weekend after Botswana cattle farmers teamed up with Gwanda villagers to attack suspected cattle rustlers.
The cattle rustlers were reportedly caught red-handed driving away donkeys and cattle, leading to the bloody clashes.
This came a few days after authorities from the two countries pledged to co-operate in fighting stocktheft.
A villager said cattle farmers from Botswana came to Gwanda last week to track their stolen cattle.
“We then went to the Nhwali area using three cars. At the John dip tank, we found 11 stolen donkeys in a kraal. We apprehended two suspects and drove away the donkeys. The suspects had divided themselves into groups and others were driving stolen cattle. They then attacked and injured four of our members,” said a villager, who refused to be named.
He said those injured were taken to Manama Hospital, where they were transferred to Gwanda Hospital.
“Two of the suspects were apprehended and taken to Guyu Police Station, while one succumbed to injuries,” he said.
Matabeleland South Anti-Stock Theft Association chairperson Victor Sibanda appealed to security forces to intensify patrols along the border area.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena said she could not comment on the issue as she was not at work, while national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was not aware of the incident.
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