BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
POLICE yesterday arrested seven suspected cattle rustlers in Bikita and Chiredzi districts and recovered 46 stolen beasts, mostly from the suspects’ residences.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police reacted to a tip-off on stock theft cases, which occurred in Chikuku, Mungezi and Chikukutu areas, between January 2020 and April 2021.
The suspects — Cleotos Mambeu (38), Tarisai Blessing Tinarwo (25), William Resoro (25) — Douglas Masunda (32) and Delight Mujaji (32) — stay in Bikita.
He said another suspect, a veterinary officer identified as Felix Ndodyei, who is believed to have illegally facilitated the registration of the stolen cattle, was still at large.
“Police received information on the suspects’ involvement in cases of stock theft around Chikuku, Chikukutu and Mungezi areas,” Nyathi said.
“Armed with the information, police arrested the suspects and interrogated them, leading to the recovery of 46 cattle from 20 homesteads dotted around the mentioned area.”
In another related incident, two Chiredzi men were arrested on Friday for similar stock theft charges after they were intercepted at a roadblock.
“Police manning a roadblock at the 159km peg along Ngundu-Tanganda road received a tip-off that the suspects were roaming around Rupangwana business centre during curfew time,” Nyathi said.
“Police arrested and interrogated them before one of them bolted away.”
Nyathi said police conducted a search and located the suspects Tinevimbo Shumba (28) and Tedious Sithole (32), and recovered meat from the duo.
He urged members of the public to continue reporting criminal acts in communities to the police.
Stock theft cases attract a minimum mandatory jail sentence of nine years or a penalty, which does not exceed 25 years per stolen beast.