Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Concern over rise in stocktheft cases

Concern over rise in stocktheft cases

Crime Reporter
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has expressed concern over an increase in livestock theft during the festive season and urged farmers to be vigilant of the criminals.

Although no statistics could be available by yesterday, police said stolen livestock was being sold in towns and cities where there was a ready market.

In an interview, police national Anti-Stock Theft Unit staff officer Chief Superintendent Andrew Phiri said they would continue carrying out awareness campaigns countrywide.

“We have noted with concern that there is a slight increase in theft of small stock because they are easier to move as compared to large livestock,” he said.

“In most provinces, thieves are targeting goats and chicken, especially broilers that would have reached maturity stage.

“We want to appeal to farmers to be vigilant. Some of them are in the habit of not locking up their livestock and we encourage them to look after their livestock.”

Chief Supt Phiri urged cattle farmers to brand their livestock to curb stocktheft.

He said cattle rustlers were targeting cattle that were not branded.

He said farmers should also join hands and form Village Anti-Stock Theft Committees as another measure to curb stock theft.

In September, police launched a nationwide clampdown on illegal meat vendors and backyard food outlets as part of measures to fight livestock theft.

The operation, codenamed “Eradicate Street/Open Air Meat and Food Vendors”, was first launched in Harare and Bulawayo, where police arrested 340 offenders and closed down 13 butcheries and confiscated 458kg of meat between March and May this year.

Police National Anti-Stock Theft coordinator Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza said the second phase had been nationalised and would cover growth points and small towns.

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