from MORRIS BISHI in Chiredzi
CHIREDZI, (CAJ News) – THE rustling of livestock from southeast Zimbabwe to neighbouring Mozambique is a major headache for authorities.
It is prevalent in Chiredzi South constituency in the Lowveld.
The cattle rustlers are believed to be working in cahoots with local gangs who live in the same communities with victims.
Such is the prevalence of the crime that daring thieves are stealing the cattle in broad daylight.
Malipati is the epicentre of the crisis but surrounding areas like Dumisa, Gezani, Madzanda, Muhlekwani, Mugiviza and Pahlela have not been spared.
“We are losing cattle almost on a daily basis and the thieves cross into Mozambique,” local leader, Headman Ngwenyeni, lamented.
“We guard our cattle during the day but they are taking them away during that time. At night they raid kraals leaving victims without any beast,” he added.
Stephen Chauke, a well-known pastor in Malipati, told Lowveld Post the problem usually spiked in November.
He disclosed he lost a herd of cattle on the 10th, having suffered another loss in the previous month.
The cattle lost in October were recovered but efforts to locate the latest herd lost have been fruitless.
“Imagine losing seven cattle during a single raid. It is common here many kraals were left with nothing,” Chauke said.
Crossing the border to Mozambique has not helped, but some locals from Pahlela recovered their cattle.
“We believe the rustlers are conniving with local gangs. I have since submitted names of suspects to police at Malipati,” Chauke said.
Assistant Commissioner Taonei Nyazema, the Officer Commanding Police in Masvingo Province, however downplayed the issue.
“There is nothing alarming there. The cases are similar to what is happening in other areas,” Nyazema said, before referring this publication to the local legislator.
Kallisto Gwanetsa, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiredzi South, said stock theft was rampant.
“This is a disease in my area,” he said.
The legislator disclosed more than 200 cattle had been stolen this year alone.
He said the figure could be higher as, due to communication challenges, other cases are not reported to police.
“People are losing cattle on a daily basis to rustlers who are crossing into Mozambique. I advised the police on several occasions and it is my hope that we will start getting arrests,” Gwanetsa said.
Southeast Zimbabwe is the country’s main beef producing area.
– CAJ News