Drought responsible for increase in stock theft: Police
POLICE have said the El Nino-induced drought has resulted in an increase in stocktheft cases countrywide as farmers move their cattle far from their homes in search of pastures.
Police said so far this year, 7 600 cattle have been stolen while 6 700 were stolen under the same period last year. A total of 2 344 stolen cattle were recovered this yyear,, while 2 086 were recovered under thee same period last year.
Between January and September this year, police recorded 3 597 stock theft casesases against 3 503 that were recordedcorded under the same period last year.ar.
The National Anti-Stockk Theft Unit Officer Commanding Operations, Assistant Commissioner Panganaiganai Sande, said a shortage of pastures wasas contributing to the rise in stock theft case.
“The increase in stock thefteft cases can be attributed to water and pasturere problems. The majority of the cases that we receivedeceived this year are a result of cattle being moved far by farmers. “The farmers are taking their cattle far away from their homes in search for water and pastures. They end up leaving their livestock about 20 KM from them which makes it difficult,” said Asst Comm Sande. He said despite the pasture and water challenges, farmers need to round up their livestock and secure them. Asst Comm Sande said police have increased the number of officers deployed in the anti-stock theft unit. He said 551 suspects were arrested this year compared to 522 last yyear. “We’re not going to leave cattle rurustlers to have a free reign. We’ve bbeefed up our manpower. We won’t give room to the cattle rustlers,” said Asst Comm Sande. He said police are confident that the brandingbr exercise that they have been promotingp will reduce stock theft cases nationally. The police working with Registrar General’s Office introduced personal brandingb and have been conducting campaigns to educate farmers on the importanceim of this form of cattle identification—@identification—@nqotshili.nq A PLUMTREE vagabond was allegedly stabbed to death in a suspected murder case. The man, who spent most of his time loitering around the border town’s CBD, was found lying dead by the roadside near a hotel on Tuesday morning.
He had a wound on his chest after being attacked by an unknown assailant. A Plumtree resident who alerted the police after noticing that the man was dead, Mr Ivor Kasongo, said he found the man’s body at around 6AM.
“I was driving past the area when I noticed a person lying by the roadside. I went to the scene and I found that he was already dead. He had a wound on his chest which was bleeding and he was lying on his side and I quickly alerted the police,” he said.
The Chronicle found police officers already at the crime scene at around 7AM and the body was yet to be collected. The councillor for Plumtree CBD, Mr Paulos Vini Hobane, said there was a need for intensified police patrols in the area.
“When I last checked the police were still carrying out investigations. This man, unlike most vagabonds that we are used to, was not a menace at all,” he said.
Matabeleland South provincial police spokesperson Inspector Philani Ndebele said he was yet to receive a report on the incident — @DubeMatutu.