Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Stocktheft cases down

Stocktheft cases down

Crime Reporter—

The number of cattle that were stolen last year decreased by two percent, compared to the same period in 2015, as efforts by the Zimbabwe Republic Police Anti-Stock Theft Unit start paying dividends, an official has said.

Police declared war on rustlers last year and pledged to ensure that the Zim-Asset Cluster on Food Security and Nutrition produced results.

According to police statistics, 5 185 cattle were stolen last year compared to 5 293 in 2015.

Of the 5 185 stolen last year, police recovered 3 550 compared to 2 926 recovered in 2015.

Police Anti-Stock Theft Unit National Co-ordinator Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza, said they had an obligation to protect the national herd as espoused in Zim-Asset.

“Our strategy for 2017 is to ensure that we account for all wanted persons in relation to stock theft,” he said.

“We also want to intensify our awareness campaigns, especially on cattle branding.

“As you are all aware, the deadline for branding cattle is December 31, 2017 and we want to make sure that all cattle are branded.”

Government and its Mozambican counterparts recently agreed through the resolutions of the 8th Session of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security to brand all cattle located along the borders by the end of this year.

Snr Asst Comm Makodza said they wanted to ensure that the Village Anti-Stock Theft Unit Committees were in place in all farming areas so that farmers were involved in protecting their livestock.

He said that last year they arrested 786 rustlers compared to 730 in 2015.

Snr Asst Comm Makonza said the highest number of cattle stolen last year (2 398) was in Masvingo province.

He said this was because Masvingo had the highest number of cattle in the country.

Snr Asst Comm Makodza said so far there were 32 people on their most wanted list and they include Felix Nyamuranga of Featherstone, who is wanted for stealing 37 cattle, Prince Vusa Dube of Gwanda (25 cattle), Tellmore Chigariro of Chipinge (30 cattle), Sibangani Sithole of Bulawayo (48 goats) and Dungane Dube of West Nicholson (36 cattle).

“We are going to intensify our operations during day and night to ensure that we curb stock theft activities in the country and bring to book some of these criminals who are still at large,” Snr Asst Comm Makodza said.

He said during the festive season, they conducted an operation code-named Nyamayabvepi Phase 3 of 2016 in which they arrested 58 rustlers, 2 026 others for stock theft related cases and managed to recover 172 cattle.

Snr Asst Comm Makodza said they also recovered 32 goats, four donkeys and managed to close 51 unlicensed butcheries, 36 food outlets, with 479kg of meat being condemned.

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