Cattle rustlers decimate herds

A syndicate of cattle rustlers is reportedly wreaking havoc in the Somabhula resettlement area and has been accused of working in cahoots with a local butcher who slaughters the animals for re-sale.

According to farmers from the area, the men drive cattle for several kilometres before slaughtering them. Although official figures are unavailable, it is estimated that more than 20 cows have been stolen over the last two months.

The latest victim, Happious Chiwenga, lost four cows in June. He said the rustlers and butchers operated from Zvishavane, Shurugwi and Gweru.

“I woke up in the morning and discovered that my six cattle were missing. I reported the case to police who took long to respond,” said another victim who added that he suspected the police were also part of the syndicate.

A Zimbabwe Republic Police Neighborhood Watch Committee branch officer, Mion Hlakuvana, said people knew who the men committing the crimes were, but would not report them.

“The suspects are known but the problem is that the victims do not want to

confront them or directly name them,” said Hlakuvana. “The perpetrators must face the full wrath of the law. It is disturbing to see such high profile criminals walking scot-free.”

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