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Gweru records 30% spike in stocktheft cases

Local News
Cattle

GWERU district recorded a 30% increase in stocktheft cases between January and June 2022 compared to the same period last year, police said.

Officer commanding Gweru district Chief Superintendent Tambudzai Gumbo said rural areas surrounding the Midlands capital witnessed a surge in stocktheft cases, with the city providing a ready market for the stolen livestock.

“Gweru urban district wishes to inform the public that for the period extending from January to June 2022, a total of 56 cases involving livestock were received as compared to 39 during the same period in year 2021 resulting in a 30% increase,” Gumbo said yesterday during the launch of the Gweru urban district anti-stocktheft awareness campaign.

“The launch comes at a time when there is rampant stocktheft in neighbouring Gweru rural district with Gweru urban district being the ready market for the stolen stock.

“Livestock is an important economic pillar towards the achievement of National Development Strategy 1 government priority on food security and nutrition hence the need to protect the national herd cannot be overemphasised.”

She said police would soon launch an operation to raid backyard butcheries and street pavements where meat from stolen livestock is allegedly being sold.

Last year, officer commanding Midlands police Commissioner Winston Muza warned people against bribing law enforcement agents seconded to clear cattle as it perpetuated stocktheft in the province.

Some daring thieves particularly in the Lower Gweru area steal cattle from pastures during daylight and sell them to butcheries in the city.

In an update last month, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said during the first half of this year, police had received 3 214 cases of stocktheft compared to 4 053 during the same period last year.

Nyathi said to date, 1 073 cattle had been recovered compared to last year’s 1 054.

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