By Brenna Matendere
Ranganai Sivangani from Chirumanzu in the Midlands Province is now convinced that police are working with cattle rustling syndicates wreaking havoc in the area.
On October 10, one of Sivangani’s cattle was stolen from his kraal and slaughtered just a kilometre from Charandura police station.
The daring thieves only took away steak and left offals and the head.
Sivangani reported the case at Charandura police station under case number 28/10/19, but no one has been arrested to date.
“I lost a big brown ox with horns facing upwards. This was a great loss (and) I have not recovered emotionally and financially from the loss,” he said.
“I would put the value of the ox at US$1 000. I felt like someone who had lost his child when it happened.”
What pains the old man even more is that it was not the first time the cattle rustlers hit his kraal.
“I lost four heifers in 2016 and this was the fifth one,” he added.
“However, not a single suspect has been arrested by police. I have no kind words for the police; they are incompetent.
“They work in cahoots with thieves.
“We have lost both respect and confidence in police officers.
“In fact, they are thieves and thugs, who are hell bent on sabotaging and undermining the rural economy.”
A visit to Charandura business centre last week revealed that Sivangani’s case was not isolated.
The majority of the victims also pointed their fingers at the police as they alleged that the cattle rustlers received protection from law enforcement agents.
“The police here have started what they call beef clubs. Under those schemes, they sell beef to people at the growth point claiming that they would have bought live cattle from villagers and slaughtered them for sale,” said Lovemore Gundani.
“But we believe these are our cattle that are stolen by rustlers, who work hand in hand with police officers.”
At the business centre, the villagers pointed fingers at some uniformed police officers that were drinking beer among civilians whom they said were suspects in cases of cattle rustling.
Chief Hama, who was among the imbibers, appeared to be demanding a bribe before he could comment on the matter.
His aide told this journalist that: “What the chief is saying is that he wants to be paid money before you speak to him.”
Joe Masiiwa, who also lost a beast in June, said the chief’s inaction over the matter was now a serious cause for concern.