Source: Donkey thefts on the increase in Kezi – Sunday News Oct 29, 2017
Loveness Mpofu and Michael Magoronga, Sunday News Reporters
VILLAGERS in Kezi, Matobo District are worried about the increase in the number of donkeys that are being stolen in their area.
Speaking at a meeting with Chief Nyangazonke of Matobo in Matabeleland South last week, the villagers said they were missing a number of donkeys and the trend was worrying.
Mr Mengezi Mlilo, a villager, said: “We are continuously missing our donkeys on a daily basis. It pains us a lot to hear people saying they can’t find their donkeys, especially now that we are approaching the farming season.”
Another villager, Mrs Simangaliso Sibanda, said she lost her donkeys last year and she has not located them to date.
“I reported the case to the police and they have not been recovered. I am still appealing to the Chief to help me to locate them,” she said.
The chief security assistant, Mr Lipson Ndlovu said a number of villagers have approached him reporting about their missing donkeys.
“These donkeys have tags, so it’s unreasonable for a villager to keep a stray donkey at their homestead when they can take that donkey to the police who can trace its owner,” said Mr Ndlovu.
He added that 20 stolen donkeys have since been recovered from a man known as Mlambo.
“We took the culprit to police and he was arrested. However, we hear that he has been released due to lack of evidence,” said Mr Ndlovu.
Chief Nyangazonke said there was need for people to be on the lookout for thieves and work together to root out the problem.
“We cannot use poverty as a scapegoat to steal. The community should work together with the police in apprehending criminals. Village police should be given resources to make their job easier. There are horses at Rose Camp that can be allocated to the police so that they can use them to service people across all wards in the district,” said the chief.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele said he does not have the statistics of donkeys that have been stolen.
7“I can confirm that we have received cases of donkey theft. At the moment I don’t have the statistics, but I’ll check with other police stations. What we have experienced is that as we approach the farming season, many donkeys are stolen. People leave their donkeys in the bush and some people take them to plough their fields.
The areas that we have received many cases of donkey theft are Kafusi and Guyu. Meanwhile, Chief Milton Malisa of Silobela in Midlands said theft of donkeys has also gone up in his area and thinks those people who were stealing the animals were selling them to a Bulawayo company that is buying donkeys in preparation for slaughter.
Chief Malisa told a gathering during the tour by Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa at Fair Acres Arda Estate recently that the donkeys have been disappearing in his area of late.
“Of course there were reports before, but soon after we heard about the donkey abattoir issue, reports of donkeys being stolen have increased,” he said.
The company has already bought nearly 200 donkeys from across the country in preparation for the opening of the abattoir.