Lupane headman charged of stealing nine beasts

BULAWAYO - A 27-year-old Lupane headman has been arraigned before the courts for helping cattle rustlers sell nine stolen beasts belonging to a villager.

He allegedly gave them false documents purporting the rustlers were the rightful owners.

Headman Fikenjani Mzizi Ndlovu of Mafa village in rural Lupane and three other suspects were released on $150 bail each when they appeared before Lupane magistrate Aailen Munamati on Wednesday.

It is alleged that Ndlovu wrote a letter purporting that the cattle belonged to one Sonakele Mpala when two of his co-accused, Dumisani Bhebhe and Muchaneta Chamiti were selling the cattle.

The beasts in question belonged to Mbekezeli Dube.

The court heard that in December last year, Dube who is one of the headman’s subjects let his cattle out for grazing but later realised that nine beasts were missing.

The same month, Dube saw one of his missing cattle grazing amongst a herd near Lupane Business Centre, before reporting the matter to the police who established that the herd belonged to Violet Neta.

Neta told the police she had exchanged a beast with Bhebhe and an ox with Chamiti.

She also revealed that the duo who turned out to be the headman’s accomplices had also exchanged heifers with Violet Sithole and Wisdom Moyo who confirmed the exchange.

After their arrest, Bhebhe and Chamiti implicated Cosmus Sebele who is alleged to have sold them the cattle worth $3 700.

Only three beasts valued at $1 050 were recovered.

The four were remanded out of custody until May 27.

Stock-theft in Zimbabwe attracts a mandatory nine-year prison term. - Nyasha Chingono

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