POLICE in Beatrice, Mashonaland East province, have arrested nine suspected cattle rustlers over possession of 66 stolen beasts.
The cattle were stolen from different farms in, and around the Beatrice area.
Police managed to recover 37 live beasts while the remainder had been sold to meat sellers.
Provincial police spokesperson Inspector Simon Chazovachii confirmed the arrest of the suspects.
“I confirm the arrest of nine suspects who stole cattle from five farmers in Beatrice. The stolen heads of cattle are 66. We applaud the police officers for such an achievement in as far as arresting the cattle rustlers is concerned. We urge farmers to brand their cattle for easy identification,” Chazovachii said.
The suspects were identified as Blessing Mahora (18), Tichaona Matemba (17), Prosper Mutini (25), Patrick Chirata (44), Mathias Nziramasanga (67), Charles Matemba (55), Kundai Chirata (18), Joseph Moyo (59) and Enock Tafireyi (38).
It is alleged that sometime last month, a farmer saw the suspects driving 19 beasts before informing the police.
Police investigations then led to the discovery of the cattle at a farm in Mhondoro.
The suspects were arrested and have since been linked to cattle that were stolen dating back to last year.