Drought re­spon­si­ble for in­crease in stock theft: Po­lice

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili Chron­i­cle Correspondent

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.

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