Headman up for stealing 52 beasts

GWERU - A Mvuma headman allegedly stole 52 beasts belonging to villagers, a court here heard yesterday.

Magistrate Florence Nago denied bail to Never Taruona, 52, who is the acting headman of Ifata resettlement in Mvuma.

He is jointly charged with Phillimon Mudzingwa, 47.

The magistrate said due to the hefty jail sentence they face, the courts fear it may induce them to abscond trial. Stealing a single beast has a mandatory nine-year jail sentence.

The pair was remanded in custody to August 28.

Mudzingwa and Taruona allegedly drove 13 cattle belonging to John Dzirovi to Prosper Museremani’s home.

The court heard that the two sold the cattle to fellow villagers, slaughtering some and sharing the proceeds among themselves.

“Due to the gravity of the offence and its mandatory sentence, the accused will definitely abscond if remanded out of custody,” the State argued.

Of the 52 beasts stolen, 32 were recovered.  If released on bail, the State fears the pair may tamper with evidence.

Apart from 13 cattle belonging to Dzirovi, the pair stole more cattle from villagers which were seen in their cattle pens.

The pair was arrested after Lalapanzi police tricked them into believing that they had been selected to be State witnesses for a different case.

Comments (4)

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After stealing 52 beasts, that means the two men could go to jail for almost 520 years. Although I am against stealing other people's cows, this colonial law must be changed based on an estimated value of a beast. This law was created during the liberation struggle to punish villagers who routinely stole and slaughtered white farmers' cows (the meat was called Wenela and the villagers called it revolutinary theft). If we go by this law, stealing a cow is worse that raping an innocent girl or homicide or armed robbery.. While the Rhodesians made this law in order to protect their cows, this law is bizarre. According to the colonial laws of Rhodesia, the cow was more valuable a raped woman. That is why black women did not pay tax while huts and cows and dogs were taxed. This law reflects that demeaning attitude towards black women. I refuse to accept the idea that a cow could be more valuable than my mother or sister or niece.

Chenjerai Hove - 22 August 2014

Ndizvo Hove iwe, wabaya DEDE

TK - 22 August 2014

While stock theft has been an offence even before independence, the 9 year jail term per beast stolen was introduced well after the year 2000. If that is the case, can we then conclude that colonialists existed in Zimbabwe by the time this law punishment was introduced?

Citizen - 23 August 2014

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