Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe records 13pc upsurge in cattle rustling

Zimbabwe records 13pc upsurge in cattle rustling
Snr Asst Comm Erasmus Makodza

Snr Asst Comm Erasmus Makodza

Thandeka Moyo, Chronicle Reporter
ZIMBABWE recorded a 13 percent increase in cattle theft cases from 9 673 in 2015 to 10 942 in 2016, statistics show.

Police have responded by setting in motion legal procedures to criminalise owning of unbranded livestock by the end of this year.

The national anti-stocktheft coordinator Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza said Masvingo, Matabeleland South and Mashonaland West provinces recorded the highest figures.

“The number of cattle stolen increased by 1 269 from 9 673 to 10 942, translating to a 13 percent increase,” said Snr Asst Comm Makodza during a tour of Mbembesi.

He said Masvingo recorded 2 398 cases, Matabeleland South 1 954 and Mashonaland West recorded 1 141.

Snr Asst Makodza said Bulawayo and Harare provinces had the lowest figures of 134 and 21 respectively.

He said though the two metropolitan provinces had the least cases, they had illegal food outlets which made use of stolen meat.

“These cases are on the increase because there is a huge market in Bulawayo and Harare which have numerous illegal food outlets.

“We therefore encourage members of the public to ensure that their cattle are branded by December 31 this year,” he said.

Snr Asst Comm Makodza said he had engaged the Ministry of Agriculture to make it illegal to own unbranded livestock.

“We have consulted the Ministry and they are already working with their legal team to criminalise owning unbranded livestock by the end of this year.”

Snr Asst Comm Makodza said about 99 percent of cattle that stock thieves target were unbranded.

He said all provinces have been equipped with branding irons and there is therefore no excuse for failing to brand livestock.

“We have also introduced village anti-stocktheft committees so that villagers can partner with police to curb stock theft,” said Snr Asst Makodza.

Chief Ndondo commended Snr Asst Comm Makodza for the strategies that he put in place to fight stocktheft.

“Many of our villagers have lost their cattle. We appeal to the police to help us recover the stolen stock and ensure that stray cattle are kept for some time before they are sold to give us a chance to recover them,” said Chief Ndondo.

Police at Mbembesi said they recorded an average of 10 to 12 cases of stocktheft monthly.


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