Mob ‘axes’ cat­tle rustlers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Richard Muponde Gwanda Cor­re­spon­dent

ABOUT 20 Fi­l­abusi vil­lagers ganged up and fa­tally as­saulted an al­leged cat­tle rustler with axes, ma­chetes, knobker­ries and knives af­ter in­ter­cept­ing him with sus­pected stolen cat­tle in the dis­trict.

The vil­lagers from Ganyabezi area al­legedly staged the deadly at­tack on Melusi Sibanda (25) on Tues­day.

Sibanda, who lives in Siya­ba­lan­dula vil­lage in Ndan­deni un­der Head­man Mathuthu in Chief Sibasa’s area suc­cumbed to the in­juries he sus­tained in the mob at­tack on Wed­nes­day.

Af­ter the at­tack, the sus­pected cat­tle rustler was taken to Fi­l­abusi Dis­trict Hospi­tal while un­con­scious with crit­i­cal in­juries all over the body.

He was trans­ferred to the United Bu­l­awayo Hos­pi­tals (UBH) where he died on Wed­nes­day morn­ing. Mata­bele­land South po­lice spokesper­son, In­spec­tor Philisani Nde­bele said: “I can con­firm the death of Melusi Sibanda af­ter be­ing as­saulted by vil­lagers in Fi­l­abusi. The in­ci­dent hap­pened on Novem­ber 8 when Sibanda who was driv­ing a herd of four cat­tle was in­ter­cepted by the vil­lagers near Ganyabezi Busi­ness Cen­tre head­ing for Fi­l­abusi Busi­ness Cen­tre.”

He said vil­lagers in­ter­ro­gated Sibanda over the cat­tle and their des­ti­na­tion but he al­legedly failed to give a sat­is­fac­tory an­swer. “They ap­pre­hended him and ganged up to as­sault him with an as­sort­ment of weapons which in­cluded axes, ma­chetes and knobker­ries un­til he fell un­con­scious. He was fer­ried to hospi­tal and was im­me­di­ately re­ferred to UBH where he died on Wed­nes­day morn­ing from the in­juries he sus­tained in the as­sault,” he said.

Po­lice later traced the owner of the cat­tle, Ms Pre­cious Nx­u­malo of Longezi area us­ing brand marks. In­spec­tor Nde­bele ap­pealed to mem­bers of the pub­lic to de­sist from tak­ing the law into their own hands to avoid un­nec­es­sary loss of life. “We want the com­mu­nity to help us in fight­ing stock theft, but if it comes to a sit­u­a­tion where peo­ple are killed it’s un­ac­cept­able. They shouldn’t take the law into their own hands,” he said.

The fa­tal at­tack on the sus­pected cat­tle rustler comes a month fol­low­ing the jail­ing for be­tween five and six years of some vil­lagers from Mat­shet­sheni in Gwanda for torch­ing home­steads be­long­ing to the peo­ple sus­pected of steal­ing cat­tle in the area.

The vil­lagers are ap­peal­ing against both the con­vic­tion and sen­tence and the mat­ter is still to be fi­nalised by the courts. — @richardmuponde

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.